As new generations of consumers come into the marketplace, successful brands are well advised to consider how their purchasing behaviours may vary. After all, you and your parents value things differently. It’s not surprise that your offspring varies from you too. By 2020, individuals born between 1995-2010 will make up the most significant number of consumers globally. This consumer group is commonly referred to as Gen Z.
So how can brands appeal to Gen Z? According to a study from Insight Strategy Group, which was issued by the International Trademarks Association, Gen Z is shopping differently. These are some of the areas your brand needs to focus on.
1. Lead with creativity
What makes Gen z unique is they are the first generation that grew up with the internet. Their generational identify is defined by three characteristics: individuality, morality and flexibility. An overwhelming 92% of Gen Z’s who were interviewed say that it’s important for them to be true to who they are. 81% feel that the brand fitting their needs is more important than brand name. This means that in order to get Gen Z’s attention, brands need to put creativity and innovation at the forefront of their designs. Unlike their Millennial and Gen X counterparts, Gen Z is less concerned with brand names. While this could pose a threat to luxury fashion houses, it also makes room for smaller businesses and start up fashion labels.
2. Be Good. Do Good.
According to the study, a whopping 85% of Gen Z’s surveyed say that brands should aim to do good in the world. What does that mean for consumer brands? Well, it could mean the end of apolitical brands. When Nike made the decision to sign Colin Kaepernick, many predicted their stocks would decline. But they didn’t. Sustainable and humanitarian manufacturing practices are also becoming more prevalent.
3. Protect your IP
Generation Z could be the answer to combatting counterfeits. 87% of participants surveys said they have at least heard of intellectual property and believe IP rights are more important or as important as real property rights. Other top drivers for Gen Z’ers reluctance to buy counterfeit items is the product could be dangerous, or bad for their health. There are also concerns that money spent on fake products could go towards organized crime and be bad for the environment.
The top three sources that Gen Z’ers use to educate themselves on counterfeit products are: influencers, brand creators or employees, and media personalities. If you have created a product that you think will be prone to counterfeit, consider using one of these methods in educating your clientele on how to spot a fake.
These are just a few of the steps brands and business owners can use to cater to the most recent generation of shoppers. And if you’re in the process of developing a brand, ask yourself who your clientele is. If the starting range is those born in 1995, taking more of these elements into account could help grow your brand appeal and your bottom line.
Thank you to Eman Bare for her assistance with this article.