‘Kidults’ reject hedonistic years to settle down early

studentsThe days when all young adults wanted to do was “have it large” with copious amounts of sex, drugs and alcohol appear to be well and truly over for some, with a new wave of so-called “Kidults” looking to create their own homes, eat well and invest in brands as they build their grown-up lives.

Well, that is according to a report by HiveMind Marketing, which 2,000 British adults; they claimed they were under 23 years old when they became loyal to beauty and grooming brands, clothing, sportswear, and homeware.

Keen to place their loyalty, Generation Z (16- to 23-year-olds) are twice as likely as their Millennial or Baby Boomer peers to commit to a brand or business, driven by quality rather than value like their elders.

The average age most Brits become loyal shoppers is 24, suggesting the products they buy when they first move out of home or go to university are the brands they buy for life.

The study shows Kidults are willing to spend more to ensure a product or brand aligned with their ethics (41%). A similar number argued brands needed to be socially conscious (41%), be sustainable (46%) and be vocal about issues such as ‘Black Lives Matters’ (36%).

On environmental or ethical issues, Gen Zers were an average 10% more likely to align on values before purchasing than any other age group.

In fact, aside from 64% of Baby Boomers who are keen to “buy British” – three times the average of any other age group – Gen Z were the most influenced by their core values and those of the brands, keen to making measured spending decisions but prepared to spend.

When it comes to advertising, 16- to 23-year-olds were the most likely to be influenced by out of home, with a quarter confessing to being susceptible to social media ads or influencers.

Environmental and consumer psychologist Lee Chambers said: “Gen Z have grown up in a dynamic world of increased personal expression, and been subjected to digital and influencer marketing from a relatively young age. The adolescent to adult transition is now a journey in itself – often documented and focused on. In this period, as they shape their identity, there is a desire to create an environment and space that is stable.

“Alongside this exploration of identity, comes alignment to brands that facilitate both inward and outward expression of the adult Gen Z wish to become.

“Story and purpose-driven brands that align with values feel both safe and supportive during what is often a turbulent time, and brands that have given that comfort and expression during a period of cultivation become like an ally that was present and understands, creating loyalty and shared experience.”

The report claims that brands often dismiss marketing to students under the assumption they only buy what they need, at the lowest cost price. However, more than a third of those surveyed claim they bought the same items on a weekly basis while at university.

Consumer trends specialist Dr Nimrita Bassi concluded: “This research demonstrates that brands looking to target Gen Z consumers through advertising should lead with the brand values, ethical and environmental, to increase message retention and build engagement. Gen Z consumers increasingly want brands to care about the world along the way and demonstrate their good intentions.”

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