The world has been changing rapidly over the last few years, and sadly the trend has been for the worst. First, the global COVID-19 pandemic threw young audiences’ education and freedom into disarray. Now the world is watching Europe’s neighbours at war, inflation is steadily rising, and climate change raises concerns for the planet’s future.
It’s easy for brands and youth advertising agencies to continue with business as usual. But if you’re marketing to young audiences, it’s essential to consider how world events and changing trends impact your customers. A lot has happened, and consumer priorities will naturally shift with these events.
Here’s a quick round-up of what young audiences have on their minds and how business and youth marketing agencies might respond.
Inflation and the Cost of Living Crisis
In recent months, nearly everything has become more expensive due to inflation. People have seen a considerable uptick in their food and fuel prices and all other bills and utilities. Older generations can often absorb some of the impacts the cost of living crisis has. Those with savings, already own a house, or have built successful careers are much safer from these rapidly rising costs than young consumers.
47% of young people are just about able to make ends meet each month. Young people are much more likely to be in a financially precarious situation as they grow older. As a result, Gen Z is looking upon the future with dwindling hope. 41% of young people believe they will never own their own home, and 51% doubt they can ever afford a family.
The cost of living crisis is now the leading cause of anxiety for Gen Z.
Luxury spending might fall away, and Gen Z may well become much more money-conscious in the future. This means businesses can provide value to the generation by offering free and helpful money-saving advice and guidance on mortgages, pensions and budgeting. It also means that Gen Z may consider items that last longer or can easily be fixed or repaired, prioritizing good value for money.
Gen Z and Millennials are more active in addressing climate change than any generation before them. 71% of Millennials and 67% of Gen Z believe climate change should be the world’s top priority. Many consider it a personal agenda and have taken action in their personal lives. The majority, however, consider it the responsibility of brands and big businesses to take more action.
Brands should consider contributing to sustainability efforts and reducing environmental harm. Honesty is critical when it comes to taking green actions. Gen Z is savvy at spotting greenwashing efforts and values authenticity above all.
A New Approach to Work-Life Balance
And finally, young consumers are taking a new stance to work. Since remote working became the norm during the pandemic, the conversation about work-life balance has been considerably furthered. Now, the four-day work week is a popular topic. Flexible working hours and the ability to work from home are opening up new opportunities. As Gen Z enters the workforce, they will look for new ways to compromise their lives at home and work to achieve a better balance.
Want to learn more about Gen Z’s consumer behaviours? ZAK is a youth advertising agency in London. We obtain consumer insights through a thriving community of U-30 consumers. Get in touch today to learn more about how the mindset of young people is shifting this year.