More than half of Gen Z favors socially-conscious brands, study finds
- Fifty-six percent of Gen Zers consider themselves to be socially conscious and more than 50% report that knowing a brand is socially conscious influences their purchasing decisions, according to a new report from MNI Targeted Media, a division of Meredith Corp. Forty-eight percent agree that advertising helps them learn about new products, 47% appreciate relevant ads and 44% expect ads to be relevant.
- Gen Zers influence around $4 billion in discretionary spending, according to MNI. Each week, the age group spends 4.8 hours streaming audio, 4.6 hours on social media, 4.2 hours streaming video, 4.2 hours on websites and one hour with magazines. The most popular types of media the cohort uses without interruption are streaming video (55%), newspapers (44%), digital video (42%) and magazines (34%).
- MNI also found that 47% of Gen Zers intentionally put their phones away at least once a day, while 48% wish they put their phones away more and think they use social media too much. Half wish they had more time away from technology, 61% think their generation could benefit from unplugging more and that technology and social media can get in the way of relationships.
MNI's report, titled "Generation Z: Unique and Powerful," builds on other recent studies highlighting how marketers looking to reach Gen Z consumers need to develop strategies based on a strong sense of identity, purpose or values. Being able to engage with Gen Zers early can help brands develop loyalty for the long-term, which will be increasingly important as the age segment matures and gains more spending power. By 2020, Gen Z will make up 40% of consumers, MNI found.
Gen Z is not necessarily ad-averse, but has high expectations for marketing content. Gen Zers also feel particularly connected to important causes, and 69% think brands should help them achieve their goals, a PSFK survey found. Nearly one-third of the age group have felt excluded by brands because of their identities, per PSFK.
Because they grew up as digital natives, Gen Zers also tend to have strong filters for inauthentic or irrelevant information, and MRI's report builds on a growing body of research that illustrates the group's complex relationship with technology and desire to occasionally unplug. Origin, the agency Hill Holliday's in-house research group, found in a survey that 34% of Gen Zers reported plans to permanently leave social media because the platforms made them feel sad, anxious or depressed and negatively impacted their self-esteem.