Generation Z: The Next Wave of Consumers

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

May 2018

Generation shifts are occurring at a fast pace and the world will soon experience the rise of Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2009), which represents the largest consumer base through to 2030. Despite their young age and limited income today, Gen Z will shape the ways businesses create and market their products tomorrow. Brands that can accomplish Gen Z’s expectations for authenticity, technology and social equality will capitalise on this growingly influential consumer segment.

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Generation Z: The Next Wave of Consumers

The future driver of the global consumer markets

Generation Z is the youngest generation cohort, but they represents the largest consumer base through to 2030. As Gen Zers will become increasingly influential, businesses need to be prepared for this next generation of consumers and make them part of their business strategy.

Gen Zers’ buying power is beyond their incomes

Gen Zers’ income today is lower than other generations, but their purchasing power should not be underestimated. Tweens, teens and Young Adults are often a spending priority for families, while they also have significant influence on family purchase decisions.

Digitally native

While Millennials grew up with computers in their homes, Gen Z is the first generation born into a digital world. With their digital prowess, Gen Z expects brands to act digitally native too, creating a seamless and unified experience across in-store, digital and mobile.

Realistic consumers who value quality, authenticity and innovation

Born in a time of economic recession and financial turmoil, Gen Zers are pragmatic and cautious consumers. They prefer products that offer them values and reflect real life. Gen Zers are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, and look for products to empower them and help them to express their individuality.

High senses of social equality and responsibility

Generation Z is a diverse, adaptive, open-minded and socially responsible generation who wants to make the world a better place. To gain respect and loyalty from Gen Zers, brands need to show their commitments and create a business model that is built on sustainability, equality and acceptance.


Key findings
Gen Z: the world’s largest demographic and future market driver


Gen Z regional distribution and dynamics
Countries with the largest Gen Z populations
India: home to one fifth of the global Gen Zers
China: Gen Z a smaller demographic due to “one-child” policy
USA: immigration fuels Gen Z expansion
Gen Z’s income is limited, but they have a voice in family purchases
Gen Zers in developed markets are most influential

Behaviour and Impacts

Key traits of today’s Generation Z
Digital natives: high expectation for technology
Individualistic: uniqueness and personalised experience
Pragmatic: cautious consumers, young entrepreneurs
Open-minded: diversity and mobility are welcome
Socially responsible: ethical and health-conscious consumers

Case Studies

Smiggle : unique design attracts young consumers
Birchbox : personalised beauty box
LEGO: adapting to the self-curating generation
Sprint: influencer marketing to target the youth
Ben & Jerry’s: gaining Gen Z loyalty with brand values

Key Takeaways

Gen Z: what business needs to know
How to best target Gen Z consumers