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Are Gen Z customers the most disloyal yet ?

Recent research ranks Gen Z as the most difficult of the past four generations on account of customer loyalty

Are Gen Z customers the most disloyal yet ? Recent research ranks Gen Z as the most difficult of the past four generations on account of customer loyalty

According to a recent survey conducted by Business InsiderGeneration Z’s shopping habits sets them apart from previous generations in deeming them the generation whose loyalty is most difficult to earn in comparison to their predecessors. Brand loyalty is a tool integrated in our everyday lives regardless of age or class.  From the supermarkets we choose to visit each day to the particular brands or retailers we shop at on the weekend. We all have developed personal preferences for a variety of different reasons that range from our susceptibility to advertisements to attractive price ranges. However the collective shopping habits of each generation tell a deeper story about their loyalty, values and the steady growth of what of the luxury that developed into the world of hype.

Baby Boomers for example are known as one of the most loyal generations. Although discounts are one of the main priorities,  their brand loyalty mainly comes from good old-fashioned customer service as 75% of Boomers report to continuously supporting a brand or product once they like the experience;  on a similar note Gen X reports to be far less likely to try a new brand over an existing reputable one, in research conducted in the US last year 67% of them agreed to basing their loyalty off quick and easy customer service and good prices.

Of course where things begin to become complicated is with those born during the evolution of technology. For Millennials who grew into adulthood during the digital age where things became readily available online, research shows that their customer loyalty does exist but is simply harder to earn. They hold retailers to a higher standard than their parents by demanding tailored shopping experiences, social media presence and to an extent corporate social responsibility.They also use luxury and clothing in general as a way to reflect social status more than past generations, which is where the birth of the hype world comes in. 

For Gen Z, these same values and demands are echoed and exaggerated in a way that makes their brand loyalty the most difficult to earn of the past four generations. Being born into a world of full fledged technological inventions, speed is one of the most important factors for the generation. Their shopping habits have been developed with the velocity of seeing hundreds of different ads per day, which makes it twice as hard to get their attention and thrice as hard to keep it. In the research conducted by Business Insider, they found that the main factor that a Gen Z customer considers is the price, they don’t want to pay full price for anything. If they are in need of a product they’re likely to do a generic search for it and choose the one with the best deal and quality as opposed to buying from their usual website/retailer. "They are very fiscally pragmatic and practical with their money. They are looking for value," commented Gen Z consultant Jason Dorsey.

The second most important thing for them is shared values. Unlike millennials who when they were younger used brands to define their identity by dressing in the luxury brand names that made them feel confident or represented them, the Gen Z customer is doing the opposite by creating their own personal brands and only inviting the corporations which best reflect their values . 79% of Gen Z is willing to purchase from a brand that could help them make a difference. They are using clothing and their image to reflect who they are and what they stand for especially amidst new movements like climate change and sustainability.  

“It’s not the brand leading the consumer; it’s the consumer using the brand or product in whatever ways they want. This is partly driven by the influencer community. Traditionally, a brand image was determined by the company and how it chose to market it. Now a brand image is increasingly about how it is perceived and marketed by the influencer who wears it,” explained Growth & Strategy Director Marcie Merriman in a recent article.  Even after all of this it’s still not a guarantee that you will gain the loyalty of a Gen Z shopper as their constant demand for products that are unique and new on account of social media, doesn’t allow for the fulfilment of any singular brand.  They are so focused on creating an environment that is accepting of all different kinds of people , to the point where following what everyone else is doing is seen as uncool. They’re constantly on a vicious hunt for new content and products that although makes their loyalty almost impossible to gain makes it the most valuable to have.