What is Gen Z?
The largest generational cohort in history (born 1997 – 2021) is called ‘Gen Z’.
But as millions of Gen Z drinkers have come of age, and continue to gain disposable income, their attitudes and expectations are already influencing the beverage industry.
What matters to Gen Z?
are all key values to consider if you want your brands to engage with Gen Z, or ‘generation moderation’ as they are sometimes known.
For the older Gen Zs, the pandemic will be a generation-shaping event, much like the 2008 financial crisis was for Millennials. From school shutdowns and lockdowns to social distancing and high unemployment rates, Gen Z continues to mature amid a dramatic socioeconomic period in our history.
The state of the climate and moving towards a ‘green’ economy are high on Gen Z’s agenda. Climate change will become exponentially worse in Gen Z’s lifetime. Disillusioned with the status quo, Gen Z is eager to lead the transformational reforms necessary not only to reverse climate change but to achieve equal economic opportunity and social justice.
3 ways businesses need to change if they want to win over Gen Z
A recent report by EY’s global thinktank EYQ, Beyond COVID-19, The Gen Z Perspective, cites three ways businesses need to change today to thrive in a Gen Z-led tomorrow:
1. Treat sustainability as a competitive edge and not a compliance exercise
To build and sustain relationships with a new generation of environmentally conscious consumers, employees and investors, organisations must act now to adopt sustainable operating practices and showcase their positive environmental credentials in an authentic way.
2. Make a genuine commitment to equality and be transparent about progress
Gen Z demand the products and brands they buy play an active role in delivering social and economic equality for all. Brands must be transparent, and crucially, honest about where they need to improve with a demonstrable action plan.
3. Keep up with the speed of societal change
In a rapidly evolving world, fortune will favour the brave, and the speedy. Whilst some may consider this to be a rather idealistic stance, as companies look for ways to sustain their businesses and strategise for growth in the post-pandemic world, they will need to carefully consider the expectations of this generation.