77% of Gen Z consumers want brands to reach out: Survey

Dive Brief:

  • Communication is crucial for relationships and the latest Cassandra Report confirms that the same tenet holds true when it comes to relationships with brands, especially among younger consumers.
  • The report reveals that 77% of Generation Z consumers feel it's important for brands to reach out to them with offers, promotions and messaging.
  • The report showed that 32% of younger consumers around the world say there are brands to which they will always be loyal, although 23% of millennials said they would cut ties with brands if they received poor customer service.

Dive Insight:

A key takeaway from the report is that at a time when brands hold an emotional place in consumers' lives, personalization is the most important tactic marketers can use to build loyalty.

"Young people prioritize one-to-one relationships and personal connections, and they don’t switch off this mindset when they shop. They want to feel a personal connection with the brands they buy and support, and that brands, in turn, treat them as people, not just customers," Melanie Shreffler, senior editorial director at Cassandra, told Marketing Dive.

One powerful way brand marketers can connect with younger consumers is by leveraging the information they have on their consumers for tailored messaging. Shreffler explained that brands often have data on everything from birthdays and anniversaries to recent purchases and even first purchases with the brand, "but they don’t always use it in a personal and relevant way."

"They should consider not only what the company is getting out of the relationship but also what their young customers are getting out of it to ensure that both parties are benefiting," she said. "To that point, the messages can’t be all about the brand but must also be interesting and meaningful to the recipient."

Though millennials and younger consumers say they have lifelong allegiances to the brands they care for, they can also be fickle shoppers. In addition to breaking up with a brand over a bad customer service experience, millennials said they would also end relationships with brands over quality (34%) and product (21%) changes.

What marketers need to keep in mind is that younger shoppers are not only making purchases for physical items, but are also driven by experiences. At the NRF Big Show in January, consensus showed that creating 'experiences' for shoppers has become a must-do for retailers, Retail Dive reported. As competition for consumers' attention and wallets increases, retail marketers must craft campaigns centered around experiences that would-be shoppers will associate with the brand — but they have to do so in an authentic manner. At a separate eMarketer event last fall, brand marketers agreed authenticity was key to marketing to millennials and younger shoppers.

"It’s important for brands to understand what attracted their young fans to them in the first place and maintain these core values. Young people are hyper aware of brands trying to seem cool, and they don’t like it when their favorite brands jump on trends or change their style too much," Shreffler said.

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