Millennials are the new parents on the block, with Gen Z following hot on their heels.
And while we definitely don't buy the hype about their reputation as entitled avocado lovers, they do have some distinct expectations about the brands they choose to buy from.
And make no mistake, your preschool is a brand.
If you're looking for ways to stand out among the competition and attract more Gen Z and millennial parents to your center, you're in the right place.
Here are six creative ways to sidestep the hype and build a lasting connection with millennial and Gen Z parents.
Millennials are known as the most ethnically diverse, environmentally-minded, and socially conscious generation yet (although Gen Z are following closely in their footsteps).
Here’s what they’re like as parents:
Move over, millennials. Having already overtaken as the largest generation, Gen Z are also on track to become the best-educated, most ethnically diverse, and most socially-driven generation to date.
Here’s what Gen Z parents care about:
Instagram, email, blogging... it's easy to get caught up in the many instruments of marketing to parents. But with Gen Z and millennials, it’s your message that matters most.
The fact is, these digital natives already know how and where to find you. You just need to give them a reason to look.
With 64% of consumers now buying on belief, they’ll gladly choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on where it stands on the political or social issues they care about.
(And with the Gen Z and millennial cohorts, you can probably go ahead and make that 100%.)
So, before you hit Facebook with a queue of automated posts that look just like everyone else's, sit down and give some real thought to the following questions.
From the name of your center to the way you run your business, it all matters to this newest generation of parents.
When parents stop by to check out your classroom, it’s game on.
This is your shot to make a personal connection in a day and age where most of us (not least, busy Gen Z and millennial parents) are starved for it.
“The good news is that parents know more about child development than ever before,” says Rebecca Parlakian, program director for Zero to Three in an article for the New York Times, “Google is the new grandparent, the new neighbor, the new nanny.”
But info overwhelm is very real, especially for young parents — which is why the preschool tour is your chance to show them you're a living, breathing expert and ally.
Here are a few ways to give parents a tour they'll never forget:
“Parents know more about child development than ever before. Google is the new grandparent, the new neighbor, the new nanny.” — Rebecca Parlakian, Program Director for Zero to Three
We know Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok all have their benefits but it's social proof, not social media, that's the real new word of mouth.
That's because they know when they're being marketed to. Rather than weed through a bunch of half-hearted marketing messages, Gen Z and millennial brains have been subconsciously trained to seek the stuff that counts. They want proof.
Here’s how to connect with millennial and Gen Z parents through social proof:
With anxiety levels among Gen Z and millennials at a record high, ECE leaders are struggling to reassure parents that school is safe.
Community is the cure.
For parents, it's easy to forget the preschool ad you scrolled past in your crowded Facebook feed. It's much harder to forget the virtual or (safe) in-person event where the kids had a total blast.
Here are a few community event ideas to try out:
If you've learned anything by now, it's that in the eyes of the Gen Z and millennial parent: who you partner with speaks volumes about who you are.
It's one thing to hang a few flyers on the bulletin board at your local library, it's another to organize a virtual charity event with a well-respected non-profit whose brand message genuinely supports your own.
By partnering with like-minded parents and organizations, you ensure the parents you're targeting are the kind who will understand and appreciate what you do, making them that much more likely to enroll.
Here’s how to connect with relevant partners for a bigger marketing bang:
When it comes to choosing the right preschool, trust and transparency is the #1 priority to new parents. And with these digital natives, technology is the answer to showing parents you get it.
With this tech-friendly bunch, it’s important to communicate on their terms — that means investing in an easy-to-use, streamlined child care management system.
Here’s what your tech offer should include:
There’s a ton of preschool marketing tactics out there, but as with all things ‘Gen Z’ and ‘millennial’, it's important not to blindly follow the herd.
Instead of trying to be in all places all the time, focus on a handful of marketing strategies that align with your center's unique beliefs and philosophy.
With the right tools and the right mindset, the parents will follow.