For the report “A Post-Truth Climate Is Shaping Gen Z’s Consumer Behaviors” Forrester interviewed 18- to 23-year-olds who represent the demographic makeup of Generation Z (born after 1997) and analysed their relationships with brands.
In the report, Research Director Mike Proulx shares insights on how brands reach the next-generation consumer without alienating the current (aging) customer base.
Key takeaways of the report
- Gen Z prioritizes brand trustworthiness as truth remains under siege: 42% percent of Gen Zers tend not to trust the average American company, compared with just 30% of Millennials, 28% of Gen Xers, and 26% of the Baby Boom Generation.
- Watching ads isn’t the same as paying attention to them. 40% of Gen Zers say they watch ads on traditional TV versus 34% of the Baby Boom Generation. How can we describe Gen Z as ad evaders if they avoid TV ads less than older generations? Because watching and tuning in are two different behaviors.
- Traditional marketing is at odds with Gen Z’s fundamental truths: The percentage of 18- to- 23-year-old Gen Zers who think it’s cool to be associated with a brand on social media fell from 52% in 2019 to 46% in 2020 meaning that classic advertising mainstays are becoming obsolete.
- Establish a meaningful marketing mix to reflect Gen Z behaviour: To truly earn Gen Z’s trust, brands must elevate their marketing strategy beyond experimental advertising tactics and embrace the key behaviours of Gen Z without pandering to generational stereotypes.