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Marketing To Generation Z: 4 Consumer Habits You Need To Know In 2021

Do you think your successful marketing tactics to millennials can captivate Gen Z? In that case you need to take a break and start afresh. And if you still proceed with that thought- Good Luck! You just lost 20% of prospective buyers

Generation Z has been, since birth exposed to mobile technology, rapid advancements, and social networks. Tagged as the ‘digital natives and the ‘iGeneration’, Gen Z is one of the most powerful consumer groups in the market today. 

So, how are they different from millennials?

Millennials are those born between 1981-1997 and Gen Z are those born between 1997-2015. The latter cohort is the succeeding generation to the former, so they are expected to have similar habits and attitudes (but they don’t). 

While millennials pay for customer experience, Generation Z demands innovation and diversity from brands. It can be aptly said that the ‘digital natives’ consider themselves to be Global Citizens as they are connected to the world more than any generation before them. 

What are the key characteristics/features/habits of this cohort?

They expect from brands something more than selling

Most Gen Zers cannot recall a time when there were only men contenders for the president’s throne and the notion of a black president did not exist. They grew up witnessing the national protests for gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and a sustainable environment. They were born in diverse family backgrounds, so they are less fazed by differences in race, gender, and sexual orientation, which shaped them to evolve as racially and ethnically diverse individuals. 

Owing to this characteristic, they expect brands to support social causes and safeguard the environment. 61% say that they would spend on products that are produced in ethical and sustainable conditions and 77% feel positive towards a brand when it promotes gender equality on social media. 

Their consumption mostly depends on social networks and technology

Meet Gen Z: The Lifestyle Of The New Generation
Source: Espoletta

Even millennials have experiences to recall before the advent of mobile phones, Wi-fi, cellular data, but Gen Z does not. Well, most Gen Zers were born in the era of smartphones and social networks. Technology and social media are ingrained into their everyday lifestyle. The former cohort may have used emails and letters for communication while this cohort will not divert from advanced messaging apps and communicate through memes, GIFs, and emojis. And what can be more efficient than the pocket devices to research on a product before actual purchase (even in brick and mortar stores)

Well, for their abundant dependence on online media, it will not be an exaggeration to state that their purchase decisions also depend on social networks and online connections. In fact, in a study by Retail dive, 80% of Gen Z are influenced by social media for purchasing a product. 

They believe in authenticity 

Members of this cohort cannot be swayed by your marketing gimmicks and fake celebrity endorsements. They, instead, believe in authenticity in real-time opinion from users. Social media influencers have a major contribution to shaping the consumption of Gen Z, but in alignment with brand value. There have been instances when an influencer who is not a user of a brand, he/she is promoting for, been backlashed by the highly informative and research-oriented generation leading to negative consequences to the brand.   

Also, due to the data breaches and cybersecurity issues, they are quite skeptical about giving away their personal data and information. In a study by Global Web Index 2020, “60 percent of Gen Z would prefer to keep their data over exchanging it for free services”. 

They care for immediate response and efficacy in user experience

In the fast-paced digital age, consumers have rejected waiting for long hours to get solutions to their problems. Especially Gen Z, having grown in the internet age, want fast and fluid customer care services. And since they prefer connecting through social channels over phone calls and emails, timely and individual support is the essence of their consumer behavior. 

Also, growing up in a technology dominant environment, they expect high-quality online channels with low glitches. They are even better than the previous generations in making online transactions. They, however, do not differentiate between offline and online purchases and accept the same speed and services from both channels. In fact, the brick-and-mortar stores might have a comeback owing to the diverse shopping behaviors of Gen Z.  

Members of this cohort have an entrepreneurial attitude and emphasize financial security (because they have witnessed the financial burdens on their elders) and want a stable life. They have, so far, proved that they possess great management skills (of their money) and have high expectations of what they spend their money on. 

Now that you are aware of the traits of this cohort, you will find it convenient to tailor your marketing strategy to suit their needs and demands. 

Author avatar
Ishika Mitra