Inside the Heads of Generation Z
The British consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants has carried out an international study on the attitudes and shopping habits of Generation Z, identifying numerous possibilities for companies to score points with this new generation of consumers.
Who is Generation Z?
All those born between 1998 and 2016 are considered to be Generation Z. Their lifetime has so far been marked by social media, international conflicts and rapid technological change. Despite their young age, they account for over 7 per cent of global household spending today.
Homogenization or Individualisation?
The study shows that Generation Z is internationally more homogenous than any other age group before it. The internet, and especially social media, has facilitated the exchange of ideas, and this has led to a homogenization of attitudes and behaviour.
At the same time, however, many young people are actively seeking individualisation. Members of Generation Z want to stand out on the stage that is the internet. 23 per cent consider individual views and opinions to be very important, while 16 per cent attach great importance to a unique style. They consequently value personalised offerings from companies, especially in the area of clothing and cosmetics.
Influence and Be Influenced
The life choices of the younger generation have been influenced more strongly by social media than any generation before. At the same time however, users also contribute to the discourse on their own platforms - via social media and customer reviews. This tendency has an impact on how young customers make purchasing decisions: Generation Z uses numerous sources of information, most of which can be found online.
A Demanding Generation - Also in Terms of Ethics
Although the price and quality of products remain deciding factors when making purchases, numerous secondary criteria become key: style, sustainability, uniqueness and flexibility. The focus has changed, and the younger generation is ready to research in order to get the information they want. In addition, Generation Z is increasingly willing to spend money on experiences rather than on material goods.
When it comes to social responsibility, Generation Z is no more ethically committed than its predecessors, the Millennials, but has a different focus. The most important issues for them are animal welfare, equality, tolerance and human rights.
What This Means for Companies
In around ten years, one-third of all consumers worldwide will belong to Generation Z. Companies face a tough battle for the attention of this age group. According to OC&C, companies that identify their target customers not only on the basis of geographical and age criteria, but also find and specifically target subgroups on the Internet can be more effective.
In terms of individualisation, products which are unique, but still follow certain trends can be lucrative. Furthermore, companies can build communities around their brands and become active on social media platforms to satisfy their young consumers' thirst for information, thus turning shopping into an experience. The Brands that are willing to tell a story are going to be particularly successful.
Source: OC&C Strategy Consultants, photo: CandyBox Images - stock.adobe.com