The metal and manufacturing industry is a crucial sector of the global economy, driving innovation, productivity, and job growth. However, as the industry continues to evolve, it must adapt to the changing needs and preferences of the new generation of workers and consumers - Gen Z.
Gen Z (born roughly between 1997 and 2012) is currently the youngest generation in the workforce, with many of its members just starting to enter the job market.
This generation has unique values and preferences that differ from previous generations.
Companies in the metal and manufacturing industry must consider these to attract and retain Gen Z talent and customers.
Gen Z will soon make up a significant portion of the workforce and consumer base.
In fact, according to a report by McKinsey & Company, Gen Z is projected to become the largest generation of consumers by 2030.
To reach and engage with Gen Z, companies must start to design their products, services, and marketing strategies with this generation's unique values and preferences in mind.
This includes considering Gen Z's desire for authenticity, social responsibility, sustainability, innovation, personalization, and their preference for digital channels and experiences.
You should design your company with Gen Z in mind to avoid missing out on a significant portion of the market and falling behind competitors successfully targeting this generation.
Furthermore, designing your company for Gen Z now will help you reach this generation and position you well for the future as they become increasingly influential in the economy and society.
Here, we'll explore some strategies that metal and manufacturing companies can use to appeal to Gen Z, such as emphasizing sustainability, leveraging technology, highlighting innovation, focusing on quality, communicating the company's story, offering customization, and focusing on social responsibility.
One of the most critical ways to attract Gen Z to the metal and manufacturing industry is by emphasizing sustainability.
Gen Z is a socially conscious generation and cares deeply about the environment.
Therefore, metal and manufacturing companies must consider making their operations more sustainable by using eco-friendly materials, implementing energy-efficient practices, and reducing waste.
An example of a metal and manufacturing company that emphasizes sustainability is EcoEnclose, a Colorado-based company specializing in sustainable packaging solutions.
The company uses only 100% recycled and recyclable materials, and all its products are designed to reduce waste and environmental impact.
This focus on sustainability has helped the company attract and retain Gen Z employees and customers who value environmentally-friendly products.
Gen Z is a highly tech-savvy generation, and they expect companies also to be.
Metal and manufacturing companies can leverage technology to make their operations more efficient and customer-friendly.
For instance, implementing automation, digital monitoring systems, and 3D printing can make manufacturing processes more efficient and reduce waste.
Companies can also use technology to create more efficient and user-friendly systems for ordering and tracking products.
An example of a metal and manufacturing company that leverages technology is Desktop Metal, a Massachusetts-based company that specializes in metal 3D printing.
The company's proprietary technology enables manufacturers to print parts at a low cost compared to traditional manufacturing processes, with greater flexibility and customization.
By leveraging technology, Desktop Metal has attracted a new generation of tech-savvy customers and employees.
Gen Z values creativity and innovation and expects companies to evolve and improve constantly.
Metal and manufacturing companies should focus on developing new and innovative products or services and communicating these advancements to their customers.
An example of a metal and manufacturing company that highlights innovation is Tesla, the California-based electric vehicle and clean energy company.
Tesla has revolutionized the automotive industry with electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions.
The company's innovative approach to manufacturing and sustainability has made it a famous brand among Gen Z, who value companies that prioritize environmental responsibility and innovation.
Focus on Quality
Gen Z is willing to pay for quality products and services, and they prioritize durability and longevity over disposable items.
Metal and manufacturing companies should make sure their products are high-quality, durable, and made to last.
An example of a metal and manufacturing company focusing on quality is Rolex, the Swiss luxury watchmaker.
Rolex's watches are known for their precision, durability, and longevity, and the company has built a reputation for producing high-quality timepieces designed to last for generations.
This focus on quality has helped Rolex to attract a loyal customer base, including Gen Z consumers who value long-lasting and high-quality products.
Communicate the Company's Story
Gen Z values transparency and authenticity and wants to know the story behind the products they buy.
Metal and manufacturing companies should communicate their company story and values to their customers, highlighting the people and processes that make their products unique.
An example of a metal and manufacturing company communicating its story is Patagonia, the California-based outdoor apparel company.
Patagonia is firmly committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility, and the company's products are designed to last a long time and be repairable.
The company has effectively communicated its story and values through its marketing campaigns and social media presence, attracting a loyal customer base, including Gen Z.
Gen Z values individuality and personalization and wants products that reflect their tastes and preferences.
Metal and manufacturing companies should consider offering customization options for their products, such as allowing customers to choose colors, sizes, or other features.
An example of a metal and manufacturing company that offers customization is ENVE Composites, a Utah-based company specializing in high-performance carbon fiber wheels for bicycles.
ENVE allows customers to choose from various customization options, including rim depth, spoke count, and hub type.
This approach to customization has helped the company attract a loyal customer base, including Gen Z cyclists who value high-performance and personalized products.
Focus on Social Responsibility
Gen Z cares about social and environmental issues and expects companies to do the same.
Metal and manufacturing companies should consider ways to be socially responsible, such as using ethically-sourced materials, supporting local communities, or donating to charitable causes.
An example of a metal and manufacturing company that focuses on social responsibility is New Belgium Brewing, a Colorado-based craft brewery.
New Belgium Brewing is firmly committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility, and the company has made significant efforts to reduce its environmental impact through its operations.
Also, the company donates a portion of its profits to environmental and social causes.
This focus on social responsibility has helped the company attract a loyal customer base, including Gen Z consumers who value companies that prioritize sustainability and social responsibility.
As the metal and manufacturing industry continues to evolve, it must adapt to the changing needs and preferences of Gen Z.
Companies in the sector can attract Gen Z talent and customers by emphasizing sustainability, leveraging technology, highlighting innovation, focusing on quality, communicating the company's story, offering customization, and focusing on social responsibility.
By designing products, services, and marketing strategies with Gen Z in mind, metal and manufacturing companies can stay relevant, reach new customers, and build a sustainable future.