This is the final installment of Generation Z: True Digital Natives and their impact on business.
Three forces are emerging from Z Generation that will force businesses to think and operate differently. These forces will be driven by technology and behavior.
Gen Z’ers are a more pragmatic and realistic consumer which is inclined to access and evaluate a wide range of information before purchasing.
For Z’ers, consumption means having access to products and services but not necessarily owning them. Car-riding services, auto manufacturers renting vehicles. video streaming, the subscription model are all prime examples. To succeed, businesses must create products, services, and experiences that ‘connect’ consumers to their brand.
Singularity: Consumption Expressed As Individual Identity
Gen Z’ers are all about identity. Consumption is a means of self-expression vs. adhering to the norms of a group. More importantly, Z’ers are willing to pay more for personalized items. The days of the bespoke are upon us.
To cater to Z’ers, who are always and everywhere online, companies will need to have a two-track business model. One for scale and mass production and one for customization catered to specific consumers. Companies will have to become more agile and flexible to survive.
Consumption Steeped in Ethics
More and more consumers expect brands to ‘take a stand’. The goal being to take positions on topics or causes that make sense for the brand. In most cases, these should not be political in nature but must match the brand’s ideals.
Gen Z’ers are well educated about brands. The know the origins of what they are buying, where it is made, what it is made from, and how it is made. Marketing will pose complex challenges as traditional channels of distribution become more fragmented and ever changing.
Young generations have always influenced trends and behaviors in societies. For Generation Z their search for truth is at the center of their behavior and consumption patterns and technology has given them unprecedented connectivity and access to information. For companies this brings challenge and opportunity – but a business must be open to it, recognize it, and embrace it.
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