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The 411 for the New Generation

The 411 for the New Generation

14 November 2018
Author: Jasmine Waters

As far as ‘buzz terms’ go, ones relating to the younger demographics are well worn out. We are always hearing about millennials and their avocado toast, but the spotlight is also now shining on Generation Z. As the new upcoming wave of consumer, how will these new generations affect the brands, and market, of today?

Who are these new consumer? 

When it comes to consumer definition, Generation Z are usually born post 1995, with millennials accounting for the generation before this. Although it is easy to confuse the two, there are distinct differences between their behaviour patterns.

It’s no secret that they’re both extremely digitally savvy – 77% of which use their phones to browse and buy the latest in fashion. This doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar has completely lost out, a recent survey found 40% of these consumers still prefer the physical purchasing experience. As a breath of fresh air to the consumer community, this generation immediately know what they want, and what they are interested in. Sales are driven by big events, with preference to own-brand websites belonging to high street chains. Being able to be sustainable is a sure fire way to connect with the younger consumer, who is usually particularly socially aware and active.

How are they different from each other?

Having said this, millennials and Gen Z customers are two completely separate beasts to tame – what works for one most likely won’t work for the other. Both live in a world of continuous updates, but Gen Z specifically need brand and buying information to be clearly communicated right from the start. The fact they might be less focused, makes them better multi-taskers – more platforms, more purchases. As we know, social media is the key player in terms of consumer reach, with behaviour less geared towards traditional advertisements, or even promotional discounts. Whereas millennials have aged into the digital world, Gen Z have never really known a time before it existing.

How can brands reach them?

Brands may have an successful marketing and media strategy in place, but even so, it’s important to remember Gen Z and millennials know all about how to navigate balance – they don’t want to be coddled. If you’re presenting them with a message that doesn’t tell a quick story with relevant value, the lack of engagement with them will be on your head. To help make campaigns tailor-made, researcher Alexandra Samuel claims these consumers can be divided into three identifying sub-groups. A ‘digital orphan’ is a consumer who has grown up is a household encouraging a relationship with tech unsupervised, while a ‘digital exile’ has been completely cut off from any digital contact. A ‘digital heir’ has a happy medium of the two, understanding their way around the world of tech, but heavily monitored. Samuel argues that in order to fully establish a working relationship with these consumer groups, brands must learn how to cater to all three facets. Regardless of this approach, learning to understand the new generations, as well as what sets them apart, is fundamental in insuring you’ll be the brand they keep on coming back to.


Image credit: Helena Lopes from Pexels

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