Anxious GenZers expect brands to embrace the P-word

youthYoung people are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, are frustrated and uncertain about the future, yet are certain of one thing they want from the brands they buy; the dreaded “purpose”.

So says a new study by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, which reveals that, even though Covid-19 has affected every aspect of their lives, Generation Zers remain unshaken in their core values, attitudes, and the way they think about consumption.

The report, “Generation-Z: Building a Better Normal”, features five sections that cover young people’s views on careers, identity, community, activism and, most notably, brands.

Drawing on research carried out among 16- to 24-year-olds from around the world, the research explores the impact of the pandemic, and outlines the opportunities for businesses. Above all, it paints a picture of people who feel under pressure, anxious, and generally fed up. Despite this, three-quarters of respondents say they believe their generation is going to change the world.

According to the stats, nearly 9 in 10 (85%) believe brands should be about something more than profit, while 8 in 10 (79%) want their money to go to a brand they believe in.

The better news for finance firms is that 90% feel it is important they start saving for their future now, while 77% already make sure they save some money every time they earn or receive it.

As consumers, this group is keenly aware of the power held by corporations and firm in their belief that making a profit is no longer “purpose” enough. Instead, they want brands to improve people’s lives in general and, more specifically, to help build a better world in the wake of Covid-19.

However, they are at least willing to put their money where their mouths are, with eight out of 10 saying they want to spend on brands they believe in.

While their Millennial predecessors might have a (possibly misguided) reputation for profligate spending, Gen Z are dedicated to saving and convinced that there is more to life than earning large sums of money, the research reveals. Covid-19 has changed the spending habits of 70% of those surveyed.

Wunderman Thompson Intelligence global director Emma Chiu said: “Changemakers, activists, leaders of tomorrow – call them what you want, Generation Z are poised to do great things. In fact, they’re already leading the charge with battling climate change and challenging brands’ roles.

“Self-belief, pragmatism and optimism motivate this generation to work toward a better tomorrow, and they’re aware they cannot achieve this alone. GenZers are turning to companies and influential figures to help shape positive change – demanding ethics, transparency, and a new set of values.”

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