Let’s set the record straight: “Millennials” are not the only people in the 18-34 age group. Remember, the oldest Millennials are turning 40 this year. Many advertisers are turning their attention to GenZ, not only because they are the next up-and-coming consumer group, but also because we are in some seriously life-changing times right now. Every generation has those defining world events that galvanize their world views and the COVID-19 outbreak is likely that event for GenZ. Here we will take a look at some survey responses from Morning Consult and how our partners can interpret that data to understand this emerging consumer group.

What they are concerned about?

When it comes to concerns over the impact of COVID-19, “the economy” comes in before friends, family and personal health as a major concern for GenZ. That may seem shocking but it’s pretty practical given the health of the economy as a whole has a huge impact on most other aspects of everyday life.

Despite all of that, they remain an optimistic group. They see a brighter future for their personal finances and well being than Millennials do. Whether that’s attributed to simply being younger and having more time to attain such hieghts is uncertain, but the reality right now is that’s how they feel.

What do they value?

Honesty is hugely important to GenZ. Given the general mistrust they have in institutional power, it’s not surprising this trait is so valued. 71% say it’s very important in general, and 57% say it’s more important now than ever. Traits that come out ahead during this outbreak also speak to the general attitudes of GenZ: caring for the needy & elders, transparency, and respect for authority are all more important now than generally speaking. Knowing that younger generations prefer to see themselves and their own values reflected in the brands they choose to spend money on, marketers need to be mindful of these sentiments when messaging to GenZ. 

Image Source: Morning Consult

Personal finances are top of mind for GenZ – be sensitive to that.

76% say that saving money during this time is important for them and 56% say they are concerned about their current financial situation. Many of them are just entering or have just entered the workforce and have spoken out about the diminishing career prospects they face.  Many experts say that entering a period like the Great Recession could have impacts lasting up to 15 years, and for GenZ, that could derail many life milestones.

With obvious opportunities for financial institutions to earn the respect, trust and, most importantly, the business of GenZ customers, it’s also an opportunity for brands ranging from home furnishings and grocery categories, to eLearning and apparel, to connect and empathize with this group. They should demonstrate – honestly and transparently – how they add value to their lives.

What you do and how you do it matters.

As consumers, GenZ has so much more choice than previous generations. Choosing where and with whom they spend their money is as much emotional as it is practical. 

More than half of GenZ report having changed their opinion of a company based on their response to COVID-19. And while that may not be affecting whether they purchase from that company right now, it likely will in the future. And that can go both ways. The landscape is changing day to day, and as more is revealed about what companies are doing (or not doing) in response to this pandemic is noticed and retained by this group.