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Decoding Gen Z and Their Relationship with Brands

Should Brands Care About Being Relatable To GenZ Consumers?

Today's consumers hold a lot of power. As a business, you must deeply grasp who your buyers are, what motivates them, and what influences their purchase decisions. 

This is especially crucial when considering Gen Z, the generation born between 1997 and 2012, representing an estimated $450 billion in spending power globally. But capturing their attention and loyalty requires more than just a catchy jingle or a celebrity endorsement. Gen Z craves authenticity, social consciousness, and a brand that resonates with their values. 

So, the question remains: should brands care about being relatable to Gen Z consumers?

The answer, like most things in marketing, is not a simple yes or no.

Relatability is a Piece of the Puzzle, Not the Whole Picture

While relatability is important, it's just one factor in the complex web of influences that shape Gen Z's brand preferences. A recent Smytten Pulse Consumer Research Survey of Indian consumers revealed some key insights:

  • Price is King (for Now): Gen Z prioritizes price (53%) over reviews and ratings (important for Millennials) when making purchase decisions. This suggests a budget-conscious approach, likely influenced by factors like student loans or just entering the workforce.

  • Experience Over Reviews: Building trust is key. Unlike Millennials, who rely on positive reviews (57%), Gen Z trusts brands based on their own experiences (50%). This highlights the importance of exceeding expectations and delivering a positive customer journey.

Social Savvy: Social media presence matters more to Gen Z (26%) than Millennials (14%). They discover brands through these platforms (46%) and trust brands that actively engage with them there (26%).

Beyond Relatability: Building Trust with Gen Z

While relatability can be a springboard, building trust with Gen Z requires a multifaceted approach:

  • Authenticity is Key: Gen Z values honesty and transparency (32%). Avoid inauthentic marketing tactics and focus on genuine brand storytelling.

  • Price Transparency and Value: Be upfront about your pricing and highlight the value proposition of your products or services. Consider tiered pricing options or special offers to cater to their budget-conscious needs.

  • Focus on the Customer Journey: Since positive experiences hold more weight than reviews, prioritise exceeding expectations throughout the customer journey. This includes a seamless buying process, responsive customer service, and promptly addressing any concerns.

  • Be Socially Active: Social media is a key touchpoint for Gen Z. Maintain an active and engaging presence on their frequent platforms. Respond to comments and messages promptly, and participate in relevant conversations. Encourage and leverage user-generated content in your marketing to showcase real customer experiences.

  • Show, Don't Just Tell: Go beyond the perfectly curated image. Offer Gen Z a glimpse behind the scenes of your company culture and the people who make your brand what it is. This fosters a sense of connection and builds trust.

The Power of Content: Reaching Gen Z Where They Are

The right content can be a powerful tool for connecting with Gen Z. Here's what resonates with them:

  • Short & Engaging: Just like their attention spans, Gen Z prefers short, engaging videos (31%).

  • Education is Entertainment: They also value educational content like blog posts and articles (27%).

The Power of Peers: Recommendations from friends (45%) and user-generated content (41%) heavily influence their decisions.

Understanding the Nuances: It's Not All About Gen Z

While Gen Z is a powerful demographic, it's important to remember they're not the only consumers out there. Millennials, for example, still hold significant spending power. According to the survey by Smytten Pulse, both Gen Z and Millennials prioritize:

  • High-Quality Products: Quality remains king, with both generations valuing a brand's product quality (49%).

  • Value for Money: They seek brands that offer good value (44%).

  • Emotional Connection: Brands that evoke positive emotions like happiness (Gen Z) and trustworthiness (Millennials) build stronger loyalty.

The Takeaway: A Tailored Approach is Key

The key takeaway? There's no one-size-fits-all approach. Understanding the nuances of your target audience, be it Gen Z, Millennials, or any other demographic, is crucial.

Gain Deeper Consumer Insights With Smytten Pulse!

Smytten Pulse, a leading consumer research solution, can help you delve deeper into the minds of your target audience. Our comprehensive surveys and in-depth analyses provide valuable insights into consumer preferences, purchase behaviors, and brand perceptions. With Smytten Pulse, you can tailor your brand strategy to resonate with the right audience, build trust, and ultimately drive sales.

Ready to unlock the power of consumer insights? Contact Smytten Pulse today and discover how we can help you build stronger relationships with your customers.


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