Gen Z’s Increasing Influence on Brands
Gen Z is currently the second youngest generation, occupying the years between 1995-2010. They’re the most diverse generation, having 48% of its members nonwhite. They identify as LGBT+ 20% of the time, double the rate of any other generation. And they’re posed to be the most educated generation in the near future.
These are all important facts to know when considering the fact that by 2031 Gen Z is projected to reach over a quarter of all global income. This equates to over $2 trillion in earnings, an amount greater than even millennials. This is all to say that Gen Z’s opinions and consumer habits matter.
So what are those habits and opinions? What do members of Gen Z value in the brands and products they consume? The answer seems to ultimately lie in values. Gen Z have the lowest trust in institutions at large, the least loyalty towards brands, and want to find brands they can morally trust.
Gen Z Values
In practice this means 65% of Gen Z research a product before they buy it. Above all 63% of Gen Z trust friends’ recommendations, but regardless of where they’re getting their info, they’re looking for a specific set of values in brands and companies.
These values are sustainable business practices, affordability, ethical business practice, overall shared principles, and inclusivity. And in contrast, the values selected against are any form of sexism, racism, homophobia, and scandals at large. Gen Z is likely to completely refuse to buy from companies who exhibit any of these negative values and will create public outcry against those same companies as well. These same values are also influencing their career motives, which will ultimately determine their spending power.
Gen Consumer Loyalty
Two factors that deserve a little more attention are definitely sustainability and inclusion. While 73% percent of Gen Z consumers will pay more for sustainable products, 54% even saying they’ll pay more than a 10% increase, only 25% consider the environmental impact of a business at large before purchasing. This means that sustainability in products and specific examples is worth more than sustainability at large.
On the other hand inclusion is definitely a more overarching and comprehensive desired value. While there are specific desires, such as 65% of Gen Z consumers wanting options to search for clothes without specifying their gender, most are more general. For example, 51% of Gen Z wants brands that support inclusivity initiatives and 87% believe there should be better gender equality within the fashion industry.
These are just two values that members of Gen Z consider before supporting or buying from a brand. Beyond values, the market of social media and advertising specifically to those on their phones is also getting much larger. There’s many ways for brands to alter themselves and appear more desirable to Gen Z, and the time to do so is now before the consumers of Gen Z become the dominant economic generation.