From The Editor's Desk

Winning over Gen Z: Keep it simple!

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images
Getty Images
A steady stream of market research is pointing to the fact that Generation Z is not only very difficult to engage as a consumer, but also they do not seem to be particularly interested in buying ‘stuff’.

This generation of teens and young adults was born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, so aged around 15 to 25. Some of the older members of this generation are starting off their careers and for those lucky enough to enter the paid work force, their spending power is fast growing.

But is that spending power translating into buying up the latest consumer goods? And more specific to our industry, is Generation Z showing much interest in buying the latest cosmetics and personal care products to hit the market?

Gen Z is challenging but not impossible

The latest market research from the NPD Group would suggestx that this enigmatic group will prove to be highly challenging for marketeers that try to engage them.

Last week I posted an article highlighting NPD’s findings​, the research emphasized how this group has confounded brands wanting to reach out to them, mainly because they have bucked many of the typical characteristics that previous generations have shown, even the famously difficult Millennials.  

 But that is not to say that this generation does not present plenty of opportunities.

A growing spending power

All of the research that is currently available points to two key characteristics that define the differences in Gen Z consumers; the first being the way they consume and the second being the level of consumer spending power.

It appears the spending power is there. A Barkley report estimates that Gen Z’s earning power in the U.S. alone is already at $153 billion, with overall spending power at $100 billion.

This is because this generation is staying at the family home as long as possible, working their way through school, and, if they have not finished with school, they are often working more than one job or even tapping into community work such as lawn mowing or babysitters to make sure they have money in their pocket.

Combine digital with traditional stores​ 

The NPD findings showed that Gen Z also might not be as hard as many marketers think to gain access to. Surprisingly, the market research company’s findings showed that more Gen Z-ers shop at bricks and mortar stores, while simultaneously being attracted to in-store digital promotional platforms.

Perhaps even more promising is the well documented statistic that more and more Millenial and Gen Z consumers are making their cosmetic purchases in stores, rather than online, with  78% of Gen Z shoppers claiming they purchase this type of item more in store than online, according to a Viacom study.

Likewise, this generation has been digitally weaned so it goes without saying that gaming is a potentially massive target, particularly through gaming promotional platforms such as Twitch, which live streams gaming competitions and hosts content targeting gamers, providing advertising and branding opportunities.

But perhaps wielding even more influence is the beauty vloggers, many of which have millions of subscribers of Generation Z age and are directly influencing this generation’s beauty purchasing patterns with their recommendations, if they are deemed trustworthy.

Simplicity and ease-of-use are paramount

And when it comes to beauty and personal care, this generation is certainly interested in making the most of enhancing their appearance, but there is an emphasis on quality, efficacy and making routines simple, easy-to-use and effective.

All of this ties in with the growing trend for multifunctional or hero products. This could be skin care products that perform at least six or more tasks, providing round the clock protection and efficacy, in turn avoiding the need to clutter the bathroom cabinet with a host of different products.

Also referred to as multitasking products, skin care brands have been first off the mark to tap into this trend, which has been highlighted by a new generation of even more effective BB and CC creams, specifically the newly launched brand Yensa, which claims to roll a BB and CC cream into one product.

There are many, many brands that are already tapping into the multitasking trend and winning Gen Z consumers over including the Neutrogena Hydro Boost City Shield, a multitasking skin protection product, as well as Starskin, a 7-in-one morning mask.

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