A Look Into the Minds of Generation Z Consumers

BY: ANEESH GOEL, CONTRIBUTOR

In today’s competitive markets, companies are aspiring to increase their revenue potential by targeting the newest generation on the block: Generation Z.  Why target the newest generation? First off, this generation represents 22% of the U.S population. Being the most recent generation, companies are jumping in to generate lifelong loyal brand consumers for their company. These type of consumers stay loyal to the brands they shop, and stick with them throughout their life.  In the long term, this is a jackpot for businesses, since they receive long term revenue benefits. The question is, how should today’s brands market themselves and adapt to Generation Z?

To learn more about what the typical Gen Z-er looks for in a brand,  I decided to interview Shivani Ghate, a senior from Fremont High School, in Sunnyvale, California. I sat down with Shivani and asked her how businesses and brands can build lifelong brand-loyal fans with the younger generations. This is what she shared:

What are some of the brands that you and other Gen Zers you know are most loyal to?

Some brands include Apple, McDonalds, Forever 21, H&M, Neutrogena, Taco Bell, and Google.

What quality do you look for most in business that reach out to you?

Companies that are human and relatable!

I like companies that are true to their words: in other words, companies that don’t bullshit their consumers.  We want honesty. This helps people like me gain their trust.  Brands also have a social responsibility, which helps them be more authentic. They need to get involved in the community and help society.  For example, I know that TOMS donate shoes for every shoe you buy, and they are setting a good example for the types of good causes that a company can contribute or engage in. Having a good social reputation helps win over this generation. 

Companies that adapt to me

I am a fan of companies that adapt to me. Gen Z-ers want to personalize products and fashions.  It helps them express their individuality. Brands that allow Gen Z-ers to be themselves in a customizable fashion are increasing their clients significantly. 

Do you prefer quality  or cheaper cost?

“Of course, discounts are a huge part of the brands that we shop in. Emails that I receive in my inbox from Forever 21 and H&M  are key in my purchasing behavior. During holiday seasons and three day weekends, there are many sales. I am always looking for ways to save money. I especially love companies that have loyalty reward programs because it makes me feel connected to the company. Being able to know that a company acknowledges me for my purchase makes me feel that I am a valued consumer. However, quality of a product matters more than cost to me and Gen Z. Quality helps ensure trust, which ultimately helps brands accomplish their goal of generating lifelong loyal brand consumers.”

What causes you to make the ultimate buying decision?

“Reputation is a huge factor of whether I buy products from the brand as well. Part of my influence comes from my friends or from public opinion. Before I buy any product online, I always look at customer reviews. Those are most important because it gives me insight of the real product from a previous consumer. It is the deciding factor of whether I will buy a product or not, as a  bad customer review will change my mind no matter how good it looks.”

Do you often skip ads or do you view them? What makes you view certain ads?

“I see pop up and video ads all the time. Like everyone else,  I skip most video ads I see. The average Gen Z-er has an attention span of about eight seconds. However, some ads do keep me engaged, as they are the ones that typically have music that I enjoy listening to. That is important because it shows that brands  are up to date and they understand our generation. Being able to keep up with the trends shows their understanding of us. If I had to choose between ads, I would say that side pop up ads are more effective than videos, which take up too much time. Testimonials that are relatable also convince me to buy a product from a brand.”

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Key Takeaways:

Brands should-

  • Be human and relatable to Gen Z
  • Involved in their communities
  • Adapt to your consumers
  • Focus on quality;  good customer reviews are important
  • Have concise, attention grabbing, relatable ads
  • Be up to date with Gen Z trends
Photo Credits: Shivani Ghate