Generation Z expert Marcie Merriman said, "experiences define them much more than the products that they buy." Retailers and businesses alike are hoping to connect with these savvy consumers as this generation already has some $44 billion in purchasing power, according to the New York advertising agency Sparks and Honey. Gen Z, with birthdays from the late 1990s to the present day, has been born and raised in an Internet-connected world, so unlike many millennials who can still have nightmares of landlines, hard copy maps, and velvet address books, Gen Zers are more attracted to companies that provide useful information and entertainment capable of sharing with their vast network of digital friends and family.
Considering most of these Gen Z consumers are living at home, according to Business Insider, fast fashion brands such as Zara or Forever 21 are performing better than traditional retailers because of their low cost options and propensity to provide a consumer with a generous amount of new photos and shares. This insinuates that the focus of retail marketing isn’t necessarily all-conclusive, but the goal is to ultimately use each consumer’s influence to encourage friends, family, and followers to follow suit in the form of purchasing from or similar to the same retailer.
But, let’s not completely overlook our beloved Millennial shoppers. According to Forbes, “Millennials also want to interact with brands, to co-create products and to participate in the brand experience,” and suggests that “Millennials today are looking for relevance and authenticity. They want to develop relationships with brands that deliver a personalized, customized experience. Brands that don’t understand and respond to these needs will fail.”
Truth be told - brands that don’t understand and respond to these needs will fail.
These generations combined make up over 100+ million consumers in the United States, so your strategic marketing efforts must be right on the experiential mark as brand loyalty is also a dwindling trend – another story for another time.
The Bottom Line
CBRE reports that by using new technology and appealing to customers’ sensory experiences, forward-thinking retailers are effectively using experiential retail to form memorable and emotional connections between the customer and the brand to generate loyalty and influence purchase decision.
Retailers need to dig deep in the bag of consumer profile and acquisition efforts. The generational shift in messaging is more glaring than ever and any mistakes and misses can be costly.
So, what could your organization accomplish with a centralized view of customers? What if you could create customer-centric strategies for your real estate, marketing, operations, and merchandising teams? With Buxton, you can. Let’s chat.