For over a hundred years, brands like Coca Cola have achieved their success by building brand loyalty with their customers using perception-based aspects, such as company image and customer experience. When a customer becomes brand loyal, they often believe that no other company can provide a higher quality product. In Coca Cola’s case, they have successfully made over 50% of soda drinkers loyal to their brand over PepsiCo. This tried and true practice of creating brand loyalty, which has been shown to drive higher revenue growth rates for brands, is now being disrupted and challenged by Gen Z.
Gen Z witnessed the US elect the first black president, the legalization of gay marriage, and heard climate change discussions in classrooms and media. The divergent nature of their upbringing is present in the way they perceive products and services. Gen Z, also referred to as Zoomers, are now reaching the working age and can afford to make their own product purchase decisions. Brands and marketers are quickly learning that this generation operates very differently in making decisions compared to other generations.
Due to the progressive environment they grew up in, social consciousness is at the forefront for Gen Z. This includes racial and gender equality, environmental responsibility, accessible healthcare, gun control, and economic opportunity for all. Rather than focusing on creating brand loyalty, companies now need to make Gen Z trust that they reflect these values and are working to contribute to a better world for the present and future generations. Trust is the key, but Gen Z is skeptical as many companies have been exposed for their unethical business practices. So how do we establish this trust?
Gen Z shops and makes decisions based on their values.
Gen Z’s brand affinity is with companies that make an effort to conduct ethical manufacturing practices, that value the well being and treatment of employees, and participate in eco-friendly and socially-conscious initiatives. Brands need to communicate these efforts on the appropriate digital channels.
Zoomers are digital natives.
Unlike other generations, Gen Z has always had access to the internet and the option to shop online. Brands need to display their ability to function in the digital world with sophisticated e-commerce platforms and quality content that creates a great user experience for Gen Z.
Gen Z doesn’t make quick decisions.
Our research indicates that, on average, Gen Z does online research and refers to around 19 sources before making a purchase decision. This includes company/brand inquiries as well as product-specific research. Distributing product and customer testimonial content online is key for brands.
At Brkthru, we start with YES. We can help craft a strategy and approach to communicate your company’s values and ensure that the appropriate content is distributed on the right channels to reach this online generation. By starting with YES, we can help you establish that desired trust with your audience, whoever they may be.