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What Gen Zers spend their bucks on

April 11, 2017 11:00 IST

Marketers must understand how aware GenZ is of its unlimited options while tapping into their sentiments, says Ameen Khwaja, who started up shopping portal LatestOne.com.

Illustrations: Dominic Xavier.

A dynamic displacement in consumption patterns has heralded a generation where the concept of luxury has a new connotation.

Unlike Gen Y or millennials, whose behaviour has been at the vanguard of a myriad luxury advertising campaigns, Gen Z or those born after, reflects a role reversal -- moving away from acquisitive predispositions towards personal needs like affordability, environment-friendliness and sustainability.
 
Gen Z has been enmeshed in the technological revolution since birth, where digital empowerment plays the ultimate role in their daily lives. With unlimited access to information and nearly 78 per cent using smartphones to shop, this generation doesn’t rely on ads.

They are well aware of their unlimited options and will exercise this knowledge to make prudent purchasing decisions -- a factor all marketers must be aware of because this generation has the aptitude to shape the success of several industries.
 
A clear demarcation exists between Gen Y and Gen Z in terms of interaction with luxury brands.

The latter is immersed in its online personality and views purchases from a personal gratification point of view, which is why conventional forms of luxury have left them unresponsive.

Sketch by Dominic Xavier

Gen Y is keen to purchase luxury products based on perceived brand value. Prestige for Gen Y isn’t about purchasing these products, but also flaunting. They actively court brands and demand unique experiences.

Gen Z echoes a shift in mindset -- shaped towards selectiveness in brand choices, online information access and social media engagement. Gen Z’s character isn’t merely steeped in the technological revolution. This legion has displayed sociological shifts with new patterns of thinking without capitulating to convention.
 
An IRIS Knowledge Foundation report reveals India will become the youngest country by 2020 with nearly 64 per cent in the working age. Shaped by its 440 million millennials and 390 million Gen Z population, based on a Goldman Sachs report, the indulgent size of youth coupled with enhanced educational infrastructure, is set to foreshadow sustained purchasing power growth, making India’s consumer story indelibly persuasive.
 
The increased use of mobile technology has caused Gen Zers to spend more time on their smartphones, and social media has caused online relationship development to become a generational norm.

The Goldman Sachs report also revealed that India’s urban mass will likely trade aspirational brands for ones that offer value and quality where brazen displays of affluence will give way to incremental purchasing value.While Gen Y has played an integral role in shaping marketing strategies for brands, the reality is that Gen Z is likely to usher in the next era of consumerism.

Gen Z is far more selective than previous generations when it comes to choosing between brands -- flagging the path of value and quality over luxury and prestige. Their revolution, away from global brands towards individual satisfaction in buying behaviour, is emphasised in tier-II and III cities where the concept of “MyLuxury” has emerged.
 
The idea of “MyLuxury” defining Gen Z is simple -- conventional, aspirational brands no longer command the same value as they did with the previous generation -- decreeing a new era of individual choices based on what brands mean personally on their own terms.

This reckonable evolution gives alternative or smaller brands an opportunity to step into main frame marketing by offering products online that resonate with the satisfaction needs of this up-to-date and tech-savvy generation.

Ameen Khwaja is the founder of e-tailer LatestOne.com.

Ameen Khwaja
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