gen z
gen z

Recent reports predict that Gen Zers will not only yield tremendous spending power in the near future, but that they will also change the face of retail. One of the first to offer this prediction was online media firm Insider, Inc. In November, a Bank of America study substantiated the same by disclosing that Gen Z’s economic power is not only the fastest growing globally, but that this generation will disrupt some industries based on their values. The reports should serve as an alert for brands wishing to capture their share of this market.

At first glance, the summary of these studies sounds like a good news, bad news story. The good news is the tremendous spending power of Gen Z. Bank of America (BofA) reported that by 2030 earnings of Gen Z will account for more than 1/4 of all global income hitting $33 trillion.

This doesn’t even include the estimated $78 trillion of wealth transfers expected to occur as members of the Silent and Boomer generations pass and bequeath money to the Gen Zers.

The bad news is that Gen Z may negatively affect some industries. What BofA has found is that many Gen Zers will be deserting traditional industries like tobacco, alcohol, travel and meat. More than half Gen Z’s told BofA that they don’t drink alcohol. Another 50%+ said they have a meat restriction of one type or another. As for travel, BofA predicted that GenZ values around sustainability and the ecological cost of travel could also impact airlines and hotels.

Industries likely to benefit are Ecommerce, new media, sustainable luxury, and online payment, says BofA. These should not be surprising as Gen Zers were born and raised on social media. More than 25% told BofA they prefer paying by phone. Credit cards didn’t make their top three options. Earlier articles also reported on the high dependence and usage of digital platforms and mobile devices by Gen Z.

In preparing for the Gen Z finance surge, brands need to ensure that they can easily and safely accommodate mobile payments. Websites and social platforms must also be easy to navigate and use with mobile devices. Brands seeking to market to this generation will need to look more to using digital platforms rather than cable TV.

Industries dealing in goods that may be adversely affected should consider their options. For example, many Gen Zers said they were considering cannabis over tobacco.

The plant-based meat industry was quick to recognize the change occurring in their arena. Eco-friendly clothing and apparel made of recycled materials may be a partial answer to some in the clothing industry.

BofA even discovered that financial institutions need to change for Gen Z. The generation is a lot more favorable to mobile-focused investment platforms and robo-advisors.

It even warned mortgage companies that home sales may decline because GenZers favor city living over a move to rural areas or the suburbs.

The bottom line is that brands need to recognize the change in the marketplace of the future and begin adapting and preparing now.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.