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Josh Rathour Singh

Founder and CEO of UNiDAYS

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Gen Z: Making Every Experience More Useful And Rewarding

Gen Z likes to engage with brands that are authentic and purpose-driven - that prioritise experiences over mere transactions, but that also reward their customers with much-loved discounts.

Gen Z is a highly influential generation which accounts for 27% of the whole Indian population. Their retail, shopping and media consumption habits impact trends and behaviours of wider demographics, including Millennials and Generation X. Research from Bloomberg found that the demographic held an annual estimated global spend power of $200bn. This increased to a massive indirect spend of $3 trillion with parental influence factored in.

It is therefore crucial that brands understand and connect with Gen Z authentically to achieve brand cut-through and prosperity. Despite this generation’s huge market potential, they remain something of a mystery for many brands. Their beliefs often challenge marketers to revolutionise the way they approach partnerships, affiliations, and segmentation strategies.

Gen Z: Savvy and Purposeful Consumers

Gen Z are the epitome of a digital-native consumer – they regularly use social media, along with instant messaging, video games and live-streaming services. They also play a key role in defining social commerce. Their real world and digital existence are almost one and the same.

They are not only hyper-informed but hyper-connected, and expect customised personalised products, services, and value, across every device, and platform they use.

Moreover, they are extremely savvy consumers, as shown through a study of over 5,000 students worldwide which found that 85% of Gen Z responders research online before purchasing an item or service, while 92% use discount codes regularly. As many as 82% are loyal to brands who offer discount codes – showing that they have a keen eye for a bargain. In India, almost three quarters of Gen Z (73%) would rather wait for a discount than buy an item at full price.

Growing up in the social media age has also allowed this generation to be exposed to larger social issues. As a result, they are more socially aware and impact driven, than those before them. They hold brands to a higher standard on a range of social issues - from sustainability and equality to diversity and inclusion - than any previous generation.

In a global study by the Varky Foundation, 92% of Indian Gen Z respondents stated that men and women should be treated equally, and 79% think that transgender and non-transgender people should have the same rights. They are fast to show discontent towards brands that don’t live up to their expectations on such social issues, and this is often shown through organised digital and physical activism.

Transparency, Experience & Value

In a market sense, Gen Z likes to engage with brands that are authentic and purpose-driven - that prioritise experiences over mere transactions, but that also reward their customers with much-loved discounts. Brands meeting such criteria can enjoy great benefits - from driving greater brand affinity to increased social sharing and sales.

As our experience around the world shows, understanding the intricacies and nuances of Gen Z’s behaviour in each country can lead to more sales for our partners in a 24-hour period, than a brand’s entire seasonal sales (e.g. around Black Friday).

With around 34 million young people already enrolled in higher education in India (forecast to grow to over 50 million by 2030) and an ecommerce industry growing at 36% annually, brands must embrace this demographic in their strategies.

Continual innovation is crucial; we should expect widespread disruption over the next ten years which will alter young people’s career paths, and how they learn and spend. For our company, being in the middle of this disruption is challenging yet hugely motivating.

Sticking to the above criteria, the vision I have is that we will actively drive and inspire hundreds of millions of young people to reach their full potential.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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