After Generation Y, or what many people often refer to as the “Millennials”, come Generation Z: consumers born 1995 onwards who have been raised in a digital world. This is a world that bombards them with information at almost a constant rate; a world where many goods and services are accessible at their fingertips; a world where romantic and social lives have been dominated by liking photos on the internet and sharing emojis via a chatbox.
Being born in the digital world means they have been exposed to information about brands at an early stage in their lives, which makes them skeptical about the authencity of these brands, opting instead to find experiences that are genuine and unmanufactured. Furthermore, having been raised in an uncertain economy and a fast-paced culture means they are practical, realistic, and want to products that are utilitarian.
We have been studying this market in anticipation of future trends that will shape the luxury market. While they may not be able to afford luxury goods yet, given the eldest of this generation Z are barely 22 this year, there are some key psychographic trends that luxury marketers need to understand to anticipate future trends and ensure long term growth.
1. Top brands in their list are sports and active brands
An active and adventurous lifestyle is always on the mind of Generation Z consumers, something that we feel will still continue as they start making their own income. This is not a generation that would fancy partying at an exclusive club spending hundreds of dollars on champagne; this is a generation that prefers being outdoors and connecting with nature.
Supreme x LV
Supreme and Louis Vuitton have collaborated to launch a luxury activewear collection that has been debated by many in the industry. This marriage of trendy street fashion and luxurious materials and prestige could have the potential to attract more Generation Z consumers in the future and we can predict more luxury fashion brands will follow.
2. Real quality and great design are sought after superficial branding is avoided
Generation Z consumers are pragmatic and despise pretentiousness, always wanting to see whether the products are worth the price, partly because they have been raised by their parents to be careful with their finances, and partly because they have browsed enough information online to understand that some branding efforts are just that-branding efforts. This is also the reason why this generation would trust influencers more than brand ads.
In this 2016 campaign by Gucci, its products are displayed in a more realistic and less conspicuous manner, while maintaining its sense of artisanship and high quality design. In this one example, two models wearing top to bottom well-designed Gucci stand in a contrasting rustic looking room, to place emphasis on the actual products themselves- no gimmick.
What does this mean for Brands?
We are not arguing that the luxury industry must redefine what constitutes luxury goods; we are through our research suggesting a different way to communicate the products to this generation that is weary of the same old story.
But continuous research still needs to be done to understand this key segment better. One thing is for sure that they are changing as fast as the technology they use, and we are here to help brands achieve that better understanding. It is, after all, an experiment to be taken on, but one that might be worth the effort.
(Source: Affluential monitor)