How do young people consume?

The Black Friday and the Christmas they are already around the corner. The weeks of the year in which they are registered are approaching more shopping. But young and old do not consume in the same way. Which is the consumption pattern of the older generations youths? What moves them to buy a Mark and no other? What do they look for when they buy a certain product? That require brands and what should they do to earn their trust and fidelity? Rosario Pedrosa, from AECOC, and Lorena Blasco-Arcas, profesora deosESCP Business School.

The Generation Zhyperdigitalized and hyperconnected, she has a totally different lifestyle than her parents. These young people are revolutionizing consumption habits. Heavily influenced by advertising and, at the same time, hungry for content that is relevant to them, ‘centennials’ are characterized by their authenticity and honesty, so they look for products and companies that transmit values with whom to identify and, at the same time, they themselves are prescribers for his generation mates.

Brands against ‘ok boomer’ syndrome

Rosario Pedrosa. Manager of AECOC Shopperview

If there is a dreaded expression today that is ‘ok boomer’. Two words that they grow old suddenly to the one who receives them and they place him on the side of the out of date. And if there is something that a brand wants to avoid at all costs, it is precisely that: being obsolete. Hence, companies allocate efforts and resources to meet the new generations, which mark the consumer trends and they are a new audience with purchasing power to attend to.

We are still waiting to solve the hieroglyph of how to please the millennial generation and now the debate on ‘centennials’, or Generation Z. Those born between the end of the 90s and the beginning of the century, who have entered the labor market and whose behavior is still pending study. The dozens of consumer analyzes that have been carried out throughout the pandemic allow us to obtain some clues that define these younger buyers.

If there is one factor that favors brands in this relationship with new consumers, it is that today there are many more contact points of those that were years ago and of those that, in addition, young people do intensive use. According to AECOC Shopperview data, the population between 18 and 34 years It is the one that goes to the most webs, social networks and more meets the recommendations of ‘influencers’ before doing your shopping. However, they do not reject the communication of the brands themselves: the 31% use official applications and social networks to inform.

The pandemic has also broken down the barriers between the physical and the digital. If before they consumed at the click of a button technological products, books or clothes, now they have also thrown themselves into the purchase ‘on line’ of food: three out of 10 young consumers have started in the mass consumer ‘e-commerce’ during the months of pandemic.

Generation Z is the group that most fixes on prices when filling the shopping cart

And, like all new generations, the ‘centennials’ are accompanied by the precariousness label. The unemployment rate for those under 30 years of age in Spain it is around 30%, while the average age of emancipation it is situated precisely in those 30 years. A triad of thirties that gives clues as to why it is the population group that most looks at prices when filling the shopping basket. 16% of young people are more attentive to promotions than before the pandemic, by 11% in the rest of the population.

Despite this concern about the price, young people are consumers demanding, who claim commitment to brands, especially in matters related to the environmental care. Slightly more than half of those under 34 say that has stopped buying brands that consider not sustainable, while in the rest of the population this percentage falls below 40%.

The profiling of new consumers serves to get to know them better, but the ultimate goal is to find the formula to reach them and be relevant. We said that brands play with the advantage that ‘centennials’ are intensive users of all kinds of communication channels and they are not averse to interacting and consuming their content & mldr; as long as they do not visualize them as a unwanted meddling, which may entail reputational risks .

Nestlé turned to the ‘streamer’ Ibai to announce the return of one of its chocolate bars and Carrefour opened the first establishment with organic products in Fortnite

One of the strategies that brings more results is to interact adding value. One of the most successful actions she starred in Nestle with the re-release of ‘Jungly’. After monitoring the user messages that in social networks demanded the return of the chocolatina, the brand responded to its fans, generating expectation, and finally went to the well known ‘streamer’ Ibai to announce the back to the supermarkets Of the brand. Within weeks, ‘Jungly’ was the best selling tablet.

Another of the formulas consists of blend in with the landscape in which the young people are. Perhaps the most original case in this sense has starred Carrefour, which he opened in the famous video game Fortnite the first establishment with 100% organic products and healthy ‘that healed the characters’.

The approach to the new generations has always been a challenge for brands, but some are already marking the way to respond to the needs of some more informed young people, demanding and sensitive to the environment.

Sustainability, ethics and transparency

Lorena Blasco-Arcas. Professor of Marketing at ESCP Business School

There is no doubt the growing importance of trademarks and of the values ​​that transmit consumption and even the self-concept itself, especially in the younger consumers. This is because, as consumers, we tend to define ourselves as individuals based on the brands we consume and with which we identify. This identification corresponds in general to those brands whose values ​​are aligned with ours and that, therefore, we consider relevant to express our identity in our Social context.

Brands thus face the challenge of, on the one hand, defining their identity through brand values and, in turn, use the communication tools available for show to these generations of young consumers the relevance of their brand values. Recent studies corroborate that brand values ​​are one of the most important aspects for young people to trust a brand when they buy online (Statista, 2021).

That difference to consumers more youths from older generationss in its relationship with brands and brand values?

1. Technology is not an added value, it is a basic need. The generation Z (born between 1995 and 2009) and the Alpha generation (born after 2010) are authentic digital natives. Displays, connected objects and voice assistants are their day to day and therefore they expect a level of full integration of technology in their interactions with brands. Also, they are great digital content consumers, which significantly influences their consumer decisions.

2. Greater activism, social awareness and interest in seeking sustainable consumption alternatives. Both generations have grown up exposed to movements social like #metoo O #blacklivesmatter and they are much more sensitive to those aspects related to sustainability or the climate change. Therefore, they look for brands that express through their values sensitivity and a clear positioning towards these kinds of aspects.

It is not enough to communicate values; you have to show them consistently

3. Ethics and transparency, but above all authenticity. As seasoned consumers of brand content What they are, they demand more ethical and transparent practices, but above all authenticity. Therefore, it will never be enough for a brand to communicate these types of values, but rather show them from consistent way through the Actions performing.

Related news

Has the pandemic your expectations regarding your interaction with brands? It is still too early to anticipate what effects will last in the long term. However, it is noteworthy that the situation experienced has favored the values mentioned are, if possible, still most relevant to these consumers. How brands generate and communicate a consistent image, authentic and relevance around these aspects for these consumers is the strategic challenge they face.

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