Sneakernomics: Here Comes Gen Z, Part 2
Matt Powell, Vice President, Senior Industry Advisor ;
In a recent blog I highlighted some of the major differences between Millennials and Generation Z. I get a lot of questions on how to understand the profile and values of Gen Z, and for brands and retailers it’s certainly necessary to understand this important next generation.
When asked to describe themselves, the most used word by Gen Z is “unique.” Gen Z wants to buy unique products, from unique brands, that are sold at unique retailers. They have also expressed that they’re willing to pay more for such unique products. Taking it a step further, they also want products that are tailored “just for me.”
Gen Z also seeks meaning in their work, relationships, products, and brands. They value relationships above all else. This makes them both tolerant and respectful. Gen Z also appears to have more “old school” work ethics, and I expect they will be hardworking, determined, dependable, and independent.
Gen Z believes that the community, if it comes together, can solve all problems. “Life hacks” (meaning a trick, skill, or shortcut that increases efficiency and productivity or solves problems) are revered. This makes Gen Z intensely collaborative.
As a generation that is out to change the world, Gen Z also wants brands to take visible stands on social issues. Human rights are the primary cause for Gen Z, and equality is non-negotiable. We can also expect more social change as this cohort gains the right to vote. With that, brands can no longer claim to be apolitical. If Gen Z does not agree with a brand’s values, they will take their business elsewhere.
For Gen Z, education is on-demand. They will learn things when they need to know them. We must learn new ways to teach them. In the Gen Z world, everything is “smart,” and all objects have behaviors.
Gen Z has moved from self to selfies. They have given up virtually all concerns for privacy, and they share everything. This makes them ripe for contextual marketing.
Brands and retailers must adapt to this new generation. In order to successfully serve Gen Z, brands and retailers must again adjust the way they market.
Because Gen Z wants a relationship with brands, they will seek out brands that share their values. Brands must earn their influence with Gen Z, and earn it every day.
Related Blog Posts
It has so far been a solid year for the U.S. team sports equipment market, helped by the new youth baseball bat regulations and golf equipment sales.
Activewear sales from February through April 2018 were essentially flat, as the proliferation of fashion brands emulating performance wear continues to take its toll, says NPD’s Matt Powell.
Athletic footwear sales from February through April 2018 grew in the low single-digits. Matt Powell recaps how key categories and brands performed during these months.
The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which allows states to regulate gambling on sports will have an impact on the sports retail business, Matt Powell explains.
- Top 10 Sellers | Entertainment Industry Trends
- Leisure Sneakers, Comfort-Oriented Styles Drive Footwear Sales
- 10 Trends You Should Know About Kids' Licensed Products
- Plant-based Proteins Aren't Just for Vegans Anymore
- New industry analysis on bra sizing uncovers full-figure opportunities