By Lennon Barrow, ERS Intern
What are the kids into these days? Even as a member of Gen Z, it can be difficult to keep up the latest trends. To keep it simple, I am summarizing three important factors that influence my decisions as a Gen Z consumer.
Identifying with a Brand
As we already know, Gen Z is big on individuality. However, self-expression goes beyond what we buy and what we wear. For me and many of my peers, we express ourselves through supporting brands that line up with our self-image, beliefs, and values. For example, I identified with Aerie’s #AerieReal campaign, which promotes body positivity and inclusivity, and have been loyal to the brand ever since. Gen Z consumers want to align themselves with brands that they feel represented by.
Again, it is no secret that Gen Z cares more about sustainability than previous generations. Gen Z consumers, especially older Gen Zers with more disposable income, are looking for products sourced from more sustainable materials. In the past year or so, I have become more aware of the environmental implications of my choices as a consumer. I am willing to spend more on jeans made from recycled cotton or activewear made from lyocell. Gen Z consumers want to feel good about what they buy.
Reviews from Fellow Consumers
As digital natives, Gen Z consumers are accustomed to brands vying for their attention (and spending). Gen Zers can be skeptical about marketing campaigns, which often feel impersonal and ingenuine. Instead, we tend to rely on reviews from fellow consumers, whether it is word of mouth, a viral product on TikTok, or online comments. As a consumer, I am drawn to e-commerce sites that make it easy to scroll through online reviews or feature customer testimonials.
About Lennon Barrow: Lennon is currently working toward a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Marketing at the University of Florida. She is pursuing a career in sales and retail.