Apps such as TikTok, and even old standbys Instagram and Facebook, have been making such news lately that it’s been easy to forget social media platforms like Snapchat even exist. But perhaps that’s my age talking: According to Snapchat itself, the app reaches about 90% of 13- to 24-year- olds across the United States. That’s a lot more than I would have imagined, considering the strides other social apps have made in diverting users’ attention.
So attention is due when Snapchat announces it has some fresh research to share, in partnership with data, insights, and consulting company Kantar.
According to the United Nations, Gen Z—those 15–24 years old as of 2020—accounts for more than 1.2 billion of the world’s population. It’s also reported (and naturally assumed) that this segment of the population will see a growth in purchasing power, which only multiplies (more than 4x according to a survey from market research firm Cassandra) when Gen Z’s influence over others in their household is taken into account.
It may not be news to retailers that seeking the Gen Z market for their customer base is a vital consideration in their marketing strategies. But those numbers might make the message a little louder.
This research sheds some light on reaching Gen Zers, mostly comparing how they view brands with their elders (millennials and Gen X/baby boomers, that is).
According to this study, Gen Z has a high rate of brand preference across many categories—athletic apparel, hair care, smartphones, fragrance retailers, and luxury apparel. In fact, Gen Z ranks higher than millennials and Gen X in every category except video streaming. The reason? Gen Z feels that brands allow them to express themselves: In Australia, 65% of Gen Z say they use brands to express who they are.
It isn’t just a flashy name that’s going to nab a Gen Z customer, though. Take the athletic category, for example. While Gen Z seems to care more about whether a product is exclusive or prestigious than Gen X and baby boomers do, the brand attributes the youngest generation values most are whether it appears to care about its customers, as well as the environment and communities.
Recommendations are also very strong among Gen Z. According to this study, more than half of Gen Z participants in the United States said their favorite brand was recommended by friends and family—more than 50% more than Gen X and baby boomers.
With this high importance placed on brand recognition, it becomes more about which brands and designers retailers choose to stock in their stores as they work to gain the trust of a Gen Z shopper. A small, independently owned retailer may not hold much cachet with the Snapchat crowd, but the products those customers purchase from it, if recognizable by name, will.
Read the full report from Snapchat here.
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