The past few years have been exciting for companies and marketers alike. As of last year, the Gen Zs have officially entered the workforce and are making way to outnumbering millennials in the market very soon. Brands and advertisers are faced with the challenge of convincing them they’re worthy of being in the Needs and Wants list. But how do they make that connection?
An interesting thing to note would be that there are lots of overlaps between millennials and Gen Z’s. They’re both tech savvy; they like career flexibility; and when it comes to brands, they’re hard to impress. But more importantly, there are lots of nuances between both generations that are important for brands to take note of if they truly want to reach the right target audience.
Who Are They?
Millennials are usually classified as people who are born from 1981 to 1995. The events that have shaped their worldviews are the rise of the internet, 9/11, and People Power 2. Whereas Gen Z, otherwise known as the Digital Natives, were born from 1996 to 2005. The most notable events in recent history that shaped their perspectives were the launch of apps like Snapchat and TikTok, the cyberbullying trend, and the resurgence of activism.
Although both generations are generally tech savvy, Gen Z’s spend more time online rather than their millennial counterparts. According to a 2017 Kantar Millward Brown study, 52% of Filipino Gen Z’s use the internet throughout the day. On the other hand, only 46% of Filipino Millennials claim to do so.
When it comes to social media use, the top apps for Gen Z’s are apps like YouTube and Snapchat, while Millennials favor apps like Facebook and Instagram. Gen Z are drawn to apps like Snapchat because of the ephemeral quality of their posts. They like documenting their day-to-day activities and experiences, but they don’t want the proof to be set in stone, unlike Millennials who are very fond of sharing their lives on social media.
When it comes to shopping, Millennials have taken to online shopping like ducks to water, but Gen Z’s prefer the experience of shopping in brick and mortar stores. Online retailers like Lazada, Shoppee, and Zalora have made great use of these statistics to cater to their Millennial market through sales that offer crazy discounts and free shipping. Brands have also taken note of the Gen Z’s preference of shopping in physical stores. Gen Z’s look for unique in-store experiences like pop-ups and events that mix shopping with their other interests, like music and food.
When it comes to brands, earning Gen Z’s loyalty is more of a challenge versus their Millennial elders. In a 2017 Becker Digital survey, 60% of Millennials said that they had brand loyal purchasing patterns, versus the 42% of Gen Z’s who cited the same type of shopper behavior. For Millennials, if they’ve fallen in love with the brand, they won’t mind spending extra for what they offer. Gen Z’s on the other hand are way more frugal and take a lot more convincing when it comes to what brands offer.
What does this mean for brands?
Just as brands and marketers have gotten a handle on Millennials, the work has just begun on Gen Z. In the coming years, brands are going to have to put in more and more effort to get to know what exactly makes Gen Z’s tick. They’re more frugal, less loyal to brands, and spend more time on the internet. Just like Millennials, they value experience, but won’t necessarily pay premium for it.
It’s going to be an exciting next few years to see how the market evolves in response to the new entrants. Trends are sure to come and go, but surely, Gen Z’s are here to stay.
“4 Tips for Marketing to Gen Z.” Becker Digital, Becker Digital, 1 Aug. 2019, https://becker-digital.com/marketing-to-gen-z/.
“Gen Z vs Millennials: Generation Differences and Similarities.” Becker Digital, Becker Digital, 17 May 2019, https://becker-digital.com/gen-z-vs-millennials/.
BrandRoom, INQUIRER.net. “Move over Millennials, Gen Z Is Here and Ready to Make Their Mark”. Inquirer.net, The Inquirer, 27 June 2018, https://business.inquirer.net/253095/move-millennials-gen-z-ready-make-mark.
Kelly, Andrew, and Guy Cierzan. “How Loyalty Marketing Can Survive in a Gen Z World.” Adweek, Adweek, 1 Mar. 2018, https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/how-loyalty-marketing-can-survive-in-a-gen-z-world/.
Miller, Lee J., and Wei Lu. “Gen Z Is Set to Outnumber Millennials Within a Year.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 20 Aug. 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-20/gen-z-to-outnumber-millennials-within-a-year-demographic-trends.
Ng, Jane. “Brands Get Ready: Gen Z Are Growing Up.” Pana.com.ph. http://www.pana.com.ph/fyeo/materials/Engaging%20Generation%20Z_PANA%20.pdf
Andreiana Yuvallos is an Editorial Assistant at WorkWise Asia. She loves reading, writing, theatre, and baking on the weekends.