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What do Gen Z really want from leading brands?

When asked what kind of exclusive offer would be appealing, 52 percent said a free gift and 60 percent stated free shipping drive their decisions to buy.

High school students gather for roll call in the Indonesian city of Kupang, where classes start at 5:30 am.
High school students gather for roll call in the Indonesian city of Kupang, where classes start at 5:30 am. - Copyright AFP LOU BENOIST
High school students gather for roll call in the Indonesian city of Kupang, where classes start at 5:30 am. - Copyright AFP LOU BENOIST

The majority of Gen Z college students would be more likely to join a loyalty program in exchange for receiving a discount. A survey finds 56 percent of Gen Z and 73 percent of Gen Z college students stated that they feel more emotionally connected to brands that give them an exclusive offer.

To derive at these data, the companies Centiment and SheerID recently surveyed over 1,700  young people based in the U.S. and UK to better understand their views.

For brands, there are ways to engage with the so-termed Gen Z generation. One way is through discounts and offers. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said they like both an “occasional 20 percent discount” and “10 percent off every purchase.” However, Gen Z was most attracted to freebies.

When asked what kind of exclusive offer would be appealing, 52 percent said a free gift and 60 percent stated free shipping drive their decisions to buy.

In terms of how brands should communicate, email (at 48 percent) was the number one choice among respondents when asked how they would like to hear from brands about Gen Z offers. Text/SMS (46 percent) was the second most popular form of communication, followed by social media (43 percent), online adverts (24 percent) and the brand’s Web site (18 percent).

With the sorts of product categories Gen Z are most likely to purchase with a Gen Z discount, this part of the survey found take-out/food delivery was the most popular option (47 percent). Apparel  (42 percent), beauty/personal care (40 percent), gaming (39 percent) and electronics (39 percent) rounded out the top five.

At the other end of the scale, online news was the least popular choice (10 percent), suggesting that Gen Z is gravitating towards news sources that do not require a subscription.

To ensure that consumers qualify for an exclusive Gen Z or Gen Z student offer, brands will typically verify the age or student-status of shoppers. When asked what their preferred forms of verification are, the results indicated that 25 percent of Gen Z said that having to create a separate account on a Gen Z deals website would have a negative impact while 42 percent said having to share a document to prove their eligibility would also have a similar negative effect.

Conversely, 59 percent of Gen Z and two thirds of Gen Z students said being instantly verified as being members of their particular group as well as not having their data shared with other brands would positively impact their decision to redeem an offer.

The survey further finds that brands that differentiate themselves in a busy marketplace by supporting their customers lay the foundation for long, and durable customer-brand relationships.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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