What does Generation Z want?

What to know about these consumers, and how to connect with them

Sep 10, 2019
Fashion & apparel

Reviewed and verified August 24, 2021

Move over millennials. Generation Z consumers—people born between 1995 and 2010— are taking over as the most important customer demographic due to their unmatched buying power, and they’re not like the generations before them. They're the first generation of digital natives, they value authenticity and while they're idealistic, they’re also practical.

We break down the characteristics and habits that consumer products companies—from retailers to restaurants— should be aware of when thinking about how to attract this new and powerful customer.

How can your consumer products company connect with Gen Z?

  • Incorporate technology into the back-end of your business to create a seamless, speedy transaction experience
  • Create a consumer-group committee of Gen Zers to bring their perspective and ideas to the forefront of the company
  • Invest in products that are good for people and the environment and share your company’s journey and experiences with your customers
  • Promote your overall corporate culture via social media and other channels
  • Don’t promote social and environmental causes to sell products—Gen Zers see through this; promote causes you believe in
  • Leverage blockchain technology to address product sustainability and transparency; track sourcing, manufacturing, labor, logistics, inventory and more to ensure your processes adhere to sustainable standards
  • Engage in a two-way relationship with Gen Z customers—listen to their feedback on product improvements, and try to make the changes they suggest
  • Use influencers to market your products on social media; Gen Z consumers see them as relatable and real people, and prefer them over models or celebrities
  • Incorporate a true omnichannel strategy—Gen Z consumers like to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, even if they buy online

Sources: Forbes, Ad Age, Netflix, BazaarVoice, Morning Consult, Think with Google, Adweek, DoSomething Strategic, Sprout Social, IBM Institute for Business Value, National Retail Federation