An in-depth look at a major shift being fueled by Gen Z and Millennials, and what it means for brands.
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Fandoms for franchises like Harry Potter and One Direction show how young consumers love to create a community around their favorite things. Now, their desire to join a tribe has extended to their favorite brands, and it opens up a whole new world of engaging with and marketing to Millennials and Gen Z. Logomania is on the rise, with two in five 13-35-year-olds telling us logos are back in style—but it’s not just about fashion and exclusivity this time around. Young consumers are repping everything from their favorite streetwear brands to their go-to fast food restaurants. Companies are answering their call with unlikely fashion and product collaborations (ahem, Dunkin’ Donuts running shoes). Big brands and niche brands alike are part of the rising trend as social media levels the playing field for building an avid fan base.
CAUSES TO CRISES
In today’s post-woke world, Gen Z & Millennials expect brands to be right by their side in making the world a better place: more than seven in ten 13-35-year-olds say brands have just as much responsibility as people to get involved with social causes, and even more say that buying products from brands that supports the causes they support makes them feel better about spending money. This movement has gained momentum over the past year, and while some brands have hit the mark, others have found themselves in the crosshairs of social media outrage due to affiliations with unpopular (or “un-woke”) stances. This trend navigates this new and tricky landscape of brand activism—from causes to crisis.
The retail apocalypse is a reality, social media is influencing more purchases than traditional advertisements, and smartphones are the new shopping cart. Welcome to the evolution of shopping. Young consumers’ challenging consumption behavior has forced brands to get creative about in-person shopping, opening whole new avenues of brick-and-mortar shopping, while the online and offline shopping experiences continue to merge. For Millennials and Gen Z, this means a rising expectation that the whole world is their showroom, and wherever they go—from Instagram to hotels—the items they see are an “add to cart” click away. We explored the new trends in shopping, and how young consumers are making 360 shoppability the next era of retail.