The ever-changing world of retail undergoes a new challenge: Generation Z. At Maison et Objet, Dr. Wided Batat, associate professor of marketing at the University of Lyon, gave a few words on what this new consumer profile requires.
This generation is no different from those before its time, according to Dr. Batat. It’s only a matter of understanding what they’re looking for, who they are and how to speak their language. Batat explained that the young from generation Z, considered to be born after the year 2000, have a fragmented identity.
“They’re after recycled products (as they’re more aware of environmental issues), yet will easily accept pirated and free products, asking ‘Why pay for a product that I can get for free?’ They have a profound digital identity and connect more with boutiques who have an internet presence. They buy mostly online, but enter shops for a personal experience because they need to acquire a sense behind what they purchase.”
Dealing with a new generation, current consumers who will become a large portion of future sales, requires research and questioning. Mostly in regards to marketing, retailers need to evaluate their current methods and consider making a change. Dr. Batat said we’ve moved from a “Good-Centric Culture” where the focus is a quality product and where it sits on the market to a “Consumer-Centric Culture” where the heart of the business is consumer experience. She said that 89% of companies focus on client experience today.
“The Youthnographie Flash method transforms the expert into a young person, capturing the sense of what it is to be young. This method is used for developing communication ads that the Generation Z can connect to, thus resulting in more faithful consumers. It also can be adapted to speak to the parents of this generation.”
She gave an example of how Barbie implemented this method into a recent video ad. We see this more and more, in fact. Many companies are beginning to use this strategy, which seems to work. We know this is the next generation who will need to deal with current and upcoming world problems, and they know it too. They’re looking for sense behind what they purchase. Let’s give it to them.