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Bm - Daniel Todaro - 22th decembre 2021

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, an independent study estimated that the direct and indirect purchasing power of Generation Z reached up to $143 billion. This generation is now at a level that makes brands and retailers stand up and take notice. It is also a generation motivated by different factors, relentless of poor service and hungry experience. Brands need to evolve to remain relevant to this powerful new audience of consumers, but not crucially alienate existing audiences. So how did you manage to navigate the fine line?


1. Gen Z is the most information hungry consumer

Recent research on 2,000 consumers looked at what influences the types of buyers in making a "considered purchase." These are transactions that are entered into with significant financial or emotional thought. It exposed the fact that brands in some major retail categories are potentially missing out on close to £15bn in in-store revenue last year, due to poor in-person advice.

Encouraging for the future of physical retail, the research revealed that Gen Z are more likely to seek out great advice in store (45%) vs. an average of 38% and are more likely to find knowledgeable staff in all stores. categories. They are also the most likely of all ages to appreciate product demos (39%) vs. an average of 29% across all ages. In fact, 1 in 2 Gen Z'ers (52%) and 38% of Millennials will spend more on a good in-store experience across all categories, crucial to the development of experiential retail. So, it's clear that retailers and brands need to be innovating enough to attract and tap into this growing market and appeal to Gen Z's core differentiators.

They expect accurate immediate information, and it is this audience that is creating the benchmark that all brands and retailers must meet to attract a digitally savvy audience. The "try" element isn't great either, as it's easily seen, so keep it intuitive and functional with Gen Z.


2. Origin gains Will drive younger generations away from your brand

The fact that this generation is more values-driven is critical to real engagement. Making it clear why your product is worth so much, who made it and how it was made, and under what conditions are critical factors to consider. Keep in mind that Greta Thunberg's generation will do their research, be vocal and active if she gets it wrong. According to research from IPSOS, 40% of Gen Z said they will actually boycott brands, compared to 16% of Millennials.


The world has changed and "profit over provenance" is a sure way to alienate younger generations from your brand. A brand's policy is also a major influencer of its brand's appeal with this generation. The recent creation of Facebook's parent company, Meta, was clearly driven more by finance than brand, just to protect its share price. This was in the wake of bad publicity hitting their pivotal mark, further turning off younger generations. Statista research from 2020 revealed the growing interest in Facebook among Gen Z. They came in behind Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger and Snapchat when asked which platform you could least do without. After all, while Gen Zers may have a Facebook profile, they don't think Facebook speaks to them or their followers.


3. Heritage will not be enough: but price and functionality will

This generation in question is considered a consumer and is not easily fooled. Gen Z has an astute approach not only to their own finances, but also to assessing the true value of what they're buying. This critical consideration of a brand's values ​​means that brands must work harder to succeed.

Like those brands of the past that died with their aging fan base, your brand's appeal cannot be based purely on its heritage. This means nothing for certain age groups, especially in the CE category, where digital natives are unlikely to have nostalgic feelings towards old technology. That brand of television they remember their grandparents had, is not going to appeal to them. They may think that it is an obsolete brand, and, in addition, it is very likely that they do not even watch television online. Any premium messaging you apply can't be attractive either, as functionality is more important than elegance of looks. In fact, our recent research showed that good price promotion was the most important consideration for Gen Z in the shopping space under consideration.

Gen Z wants brands to give them what they want at a price they can afford and that has been made responsibly. Brands need to work hard to communicate and demonstrate this so that it resonates with the psyche of a younger generation.


4. A synchronized experience is key

As research has conclusively shown, 85% of shoppers are now doing their research online before making a thoughtful in-store purchase. In fact, 84% of Gen Z shoppers said a well-synchronized online and offline experience would make them more likely to make a thoughtful purchase, increasing the need for a brand to clearly lay out the customer journey to engage to these buyers. Think customer, not platform first, and ensure there is a seamless journey from discovery, research to purchase. How consistent is the brand experience and how can you better improve the experience and make the sale? The digital-native traits of this generation mean you just can't cut it with old websites and apps.

The focus should be that each person who visits your website and then walks through the door of a store receives a joint experience and is seen as a potential customer and influencer. Someone who will speak positively of you through their experience and will tell others in person, online or on social media and is not seen as just another body they "deal with".


Violating stereotypes, it's clear that the generation that most welcomes expert brand advice is Generation Z. In fact, as our research indicates, the right advice can lead to younger customers willingly spending more. However, if you prefer profit over provenance, they will be turned off and more than willing to boycott your brand. Heritage is also less of a factor for this generation and loyalty will have to be delivered through the value and functionality it can offer, not some mythical appeal. A seamless and seamless online and offline experience is also now an absolute necessity for brands and retailers to survive in a changing marketplace. Now it's about making the investment to do so and implementing a new playbook focused on the experience. This is the way to attract Generation Z and indeed all generations. After all, these younger pioneers are creating the benchmark that all brands and retailers must meet to appeal to a modern, digitally savvy audience.


Image cobert: Ali Pazani