Action, not advertising, is what Generation Z (GenZ) consumers want to see from the brands they purchase. GenZ roughly represents individuals born between 1996 and 2010. These young people are recent high school and college graduates, and they are just starting to make an impact with their purchases.
What are they looking for?
Affordability, taste, a cause, and convenience.
At the 2019 Dairy Experience Forum, FutureCast’s Jeff Fromm described the generation this way, “When we did this large-scale study, the first thing we found was GenZ was defined by old souls in young bodies. Digital, social, mobile, but their values look more like people in their 50s than maybe people that are five or seven years older than them.”
Some of the “old soul” characteristics that define these young people include hard work, financially mindedness, and a tendency to be conversation starters when it comes to social issues.
That makes them considerably different from millennials, but it also impacts how they are expected to purchase goods as they enter the marketplace.
Back to action over advertising
Fromm outlined six mindsets that drive these young people’s decisions.
- Social circle. Ask yourself if your brand is part of cultural conversations.
- Self. Does your brand create an emotional connection?
- Innovative. Is your brand constantly improving and reinventing itself?
- Trust. Is your brand remarkably consistent? “Trust is earned by what you do,” said Fromm. “Advertising trust will fail you. A brand must earn it through action.”
- Accessible. Is your brand hyper useful and hyper convenient?
- Purpose. Does your brand add good to society?
“Food and beverage and dairy are at the center of what modern consumers use to express and create their social identity,” Fromm concluded. “The dollars being spent in the category, whether it’s with your brand or a competitor, are replacing traditional dollars being spent in fashion and other categories. The rate of growth and the opportunity for you is tremendous if you can move past the myths and embrace real consumer insights.”