Millennials move over, there’s a new generation in town and brands are swiftly stepping up their efforts to resonate with this latest group of consumers to hit the high street.
Born during the period mid-1990s – mid-2000s (source: Independent), the preferences of ‘Generation Z’ will play a fundamental role in shaping the future of organisations across the globe.
While millennials put the wheels in motion with a focus on healthier lifestyles and environmental impact, ‘Gen Z’ take this a step further, voting with their feet and actively seeking out companies whose values align with their own.
Disrupting the norms that have long governed a number of industries, businesses must now adapt to fulfil the needs of this group who are quickly rising up through the ranks.
Ethical integrity and environmental sustainability
Placing sustainability high on their list of priorities, this latest cohort of consumers are shaking up big businesses, forcing them to become accountable for the impact that their practises have – not just on the environment, but on their workforce too.
Single use plastic is likely to continue to cause debate, while issues of fair trade and responsible manufacturing are sure to follow suit.
Embrace a more diverse range of diets
Having initially gained momentum amongst millennials, the rise of vegetarian and vegan diets continues amongst Generation Z.
In a further demonstration of this group’s ethical stance, not only is eating meat felt to be unnecessary, it is also detrimental for the planet – something that, thankfully, this generation hold in high regard.
Factor in the importance of a healthy lifestyle
Mindfulness and mental health, issues which were rarely discussed just a short number of years ago, are now staple topics in schools, workplaces and homes across the country.
Following on from millennials who have positioned workplace culture and benefits as increasingly important factors, as Generation Z enters the workforce this is likely to continue with a keen focus on work/life balance and an open attitude towards mental health.
As society takes positive strides forward in its attitude towards difference, future generations are bound to be more likely to embrace their uniqueness.
Increased acceptance and tolerance of differences will hopefully lead to a more diverse society where everyone is free to be themselves.
Overt branding is less important
According to The Drum, overt advertising is a turn off for Gen Z. Recognising this shift in perspective, Doritos has launched its ‘Another Level’ campaign which has seen the brand remove its logo from advertising and social content, instead relying on its other identifiable features such as the distinctive triangular chip and bag colours.
Brands such as Starbucks and Mastercard have made their own changes, preferring for their logos to be displayed without the accompanying wordmark. Though not detailed as a move motivated by up-and-coming generations, it is likely to play some part in the modernisation of each business’ approach.
What’s more, with Generation Z expected to make up a staggering 40% of the global population by 2020 (source: Independent), it will certainly be interesting to see how businesses adapt to meet the demands of this up-and-coming generation of savvy shoppers.