Born between 1995 and 2009, Generation Z (Gen Z) is coming of age alongside significant changes in post-pandemic economy, giving rise to the Gen Z beauty consumer’s tendencies for price sensitivity, individualistic expression, active participation in user-generated content, and phygital spaces. The rise of Gen Z-geared brands highlight this cohort’s preference for sustainable features and clean beauty claims. Social media and social commerce are essential to succeed with Gen Z beauty consumers.
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A fast-deteriorating global economic outlook is set to present challenges for both Gen Z and the beauty brands targeting them. Gen Z is bound to see their financials under strain as the youth is historically the first to see employment rates drop, amid a backdrop of market volatility, including inflation, supply chain disruption, and geopolitical uncertainty.
Gen Z may be price-sensitive, but they exhibit a willingness to spend on beauty and personal care products that contribute to their health and emotional wellness. Beauty brands that deliver on efficacy and include sustainable features, accessible prices and omnichannel strategies resonate the most with this cohort.
Gen Z sees beauty as a means to become one’s true self (as opposed to achieving perfection), and iterations of that true self are all acceptable. They lean into the notion that they are responsible for their own wellness, which is an amalgamation of physical, emotional, social and spiritual health. Their preference for a "back to basics" approach is also amplified by the fact that this cohort views clean beauty as the norm.
Gen Z’s beauty consumer journey is heavily skewed towards the smartphone, social media, especially TikTok (Douyin in China), and early adoption of digital platforms (eg metaverse) and beauty tech strategies (VR etc). Despite heavy dependence on digital, Gen Z shows a yearning for human interaction, which helps explain demand for a phygital approach to beauty.
Building customer loyalty among this cohort, which likes to experiment with different brands, can be difficult, especially in an oversaturated market. However, beauty brands that can substantiate efficacy and have a large presence on social media can thrive in a market defined by a transactional approach.
This is the aggregation of baby and child-specific products, bath & shower, deodorants, hair care, colour cosmetics, men's grooming, oral hygiene, fragrances, skin care, depilatories and sun care. Black market sales and travel retail are excluded.See All of Our Definitions
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