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  • Writer's pictureGreta Hobbs

Marketers Don’t Understand Gen Z

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

What issues are most important to Gen Z? According to a recent study, 75% of Gen Z is passionate about making the world a better place. Some topics that they keep in the forefront of their minds are social justice, sustainability, inclusion, and mental health awareness.

Marketers in recent years have tried to pass off a lot of non-sustainable products as sustainable which has led to a phenomenon referred to as “Green Washing”. This is where a brand sells themselves as good for the environment and good for your health when in reality they just took their non-sustainable product and repackaged it in order to trick their consumers. Because of this, 78% of Gen Z shoppers are skeptical of brands commitments to sustainability, inclusion, and diversity.

82% of Gen Z shoppers say they research brands before making a purchase. Gen Z is one of the first generations to put this much thought into where they are spending their money and how that plays into the bigger picture of our society. Some marketers think of young kids when they picture Gen Z but the truth is that it encompasses ages 10-25 so it is important to cater to their needs as a generation.

As a part of Gen Z myself, I do think it is very important to spend my money with brands who are using their popularity and exposure to make a positive change in the world. I personally try to avoid buying things like single use plastics and products with lots of chemicals. However I am also a broke college student who will go for the cheaper less sustainable option if I have to.

In a perfect world, brands would find a way to give us both sustainable and affordable products which some brands already do! Only 8% of our generation feels like marketers know what we want, and I am not in that 8%. Most of us at this point are aware of the popular tactics that brands use to get people to buy from them but we have also learned not to take things at face value anymore. I am proud to be part of the generation that takes matters into our own hands and does our own research in order to make the best choices.

I think if brands want to connect with this generation, they have to start putting their money where their mouths are. Instead of making Instagram posts about how much they care about the planet, show us how you are actually making your products and source your materials. Show us the conditions your employees work in. I think what we really want from our brands these days is transparency.

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