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42Works Blog

Posted on October 16, 2019

GEN Z – Understanding The Consumer Behaviour of The Future

Touted as the next big thing in retail, Gen – Z is a true disruptor in the marketplace. Gen –  Z is the first generation, who was born in the digital age and don’t remember a time before the internet. 

This makes them the first internet natives in its truest sense, even more so than millennials. Keeping up with the current trends, Gen – Z will soon have a whopping 40% share of the U.S. consumer market

This growth in purchasing power will make it imperative for businesses to adapt their digital marketing strategy to fit the Gen – Z characteristics, to survive and maybe even thrive in the next decade.

Attention, What? 

The dominant age demographic in Gen – Z, is the 16-18-year-olds. Now add to that nearly infinite amount of choices and you hit the only limiting factor, that happens to be time. Thus the Gen – Z characteristics for buying and consuming have evolved as such. 

This evolution in perception has enabled Gen – Z to surf through enormous amounts of commercial decisions. Gen – Z wants manageable concentrated amounts of data, that doesn’t give them sensory overload. Thus businesses must create content that is easily digestible and isn’t heavy to consume. 

Stand Alone to Stand Apart 

Gen – Z is a highly cognizant group of people, this is the generation that joined the internet early on in their lives. By spending their entire lives on the internet, they know that ‘everything that shines isn’t gold’ on the web. This makes them resistant to many digital marketing techniques that work on millennials. 

This poses a major challenge to businesses trying to market themselves to a demographic of Gen – Z. It’s not that they don’t want to buy though, Gen – Z just doesn’t want to feel like they are being lured into something shady.  

To remedy this situation, brands need to incorporate their unique identity in their marketing plan. They need to create an identity that attracts users of Gen – Z towards them, rather than them going to them.  

The Ethos of GEN – Z 

To successfully being able to sell anything to anyone, one must have a deep understanding of the consumer. To understand Gen – Z businesses must remember that they are the first fully digital generation. They were born and raised in a fast-paced, super-connected world, making them completely integrated with the online reality.   

Even though Gen – Z doesn’t need to, but they do show affinity to traditional institutions like; ‘college education, jobs, etc.’ 

This also results in them choosing experiences over physical goods. This generation was born in abundance and is disillusioned by it, thus it craves experiences that feel real.  

The Art of Engagement 

Gen – Z due to being born into the age of the internet, are experienced netzines. This makes them particularly resistant to targeted online ad campaigns. To successfully woo them, businesses must adopt a new engagement marketing strategy.  

The main thing to understand about Gen – Z is that they are extremely tech-savvy, thus they don’t pay much attention to regular marketing jargon. Therefore, brands must create cohesive narrative around the product or service they are selling. 

This type of nurturing of organic interest might be slow and cumbersome, but that is what works for the next most powerful human generation. When looking at it from a digital marketing strategy perspective, it is imperative to add videographic and photographic content to retain the attention of Gen – Z. 

In Conclusion 

In the end, Generation Z is the future, there are still a few years left before they completely take over the consumer base. This small amount of transitioning period is where businesses must evolve in order to meet the greater challenge. 

Brands and businesses must partner with premier digital marketing agencies who can provide them with a comprehensive suite of digital solutions to their respective digital needs to survive the onslaught of Gen – Z.


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