Generation Z: a mandatory course in branding

2021.05.27 / Viewpoint

Generation Z: a mandatory Course in Branding


According to the results of the seventh national census just released, 894,376,020 of the population are within the age of 15 and 59, accounting for 63.35% of the total population. According to iiMedia research, in 2020, the population of those born in the 90s, 80s, and 00s of China's main consumer population are the largest, accounting for 17.3%, 15.7% and 12.6% respectively.

Within these statistics, the majority of consumers are born in 1995-2000, more better known as “Generation Z.”According to the national population statistics, the population of generation Z in China reaches over 264 million, accounting for about 19% of the total population. As the Gen Zs gradually enter the workplace, their income and consumption level will further improve, and these young people will become the main force of China's consumer market. 


With the rise of young consumers, brands are undergoing a brutal reorganization. These young people grew up in an environment of mobile Internet and social media. The lifestyle, values and consumption concepts of this generation are very different from those of the previous generation, which puts many brands onto an awkward position.

Though many marketing reports have attached various labels to Generation Z: pursuit of individuality, chasing of trends, quick perception of change, value for aesthetics, punk health, emphasis on experience, strong self-awareness, and uses short video, games, live broadcast as the main content carrier. Chase celebrities, love IPs, avid consumers, couch potatoes, amine fans, dog-cat petters, emo, willing to try all kinds of new things, pay attention to quality, willing to spend money on everything they like...

Many enterprises follow these marketing labels and invest a lot of resources, time and energy to cater to the preferences of generation Z in order to succeed in the market. However, as Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, said, "the market changes faster than the marketing", brands have always been trying to keep up with this phenomena, yet are always unable to can't catch up with this group of smart and fast-changing consumers.


The above marketing portraits are all the phenomena of young people.  But how have these phenomenons formed? How should we identify the younger generation? How can a brand reinvent itself to fit the tastes of younger people? To understand the Generation Z, we need to sympathize with their growth and background, in hopes of receiving a more realistic approach to them.

From the sociological point of view, the development of new technology has deconstructed and reconstructed the ways of social interactions. The Internet broke traditional authoritarianism, the low threshold, decentralization, free equality, network, digitization and totalization of new media, weakening the inequality of people's information acquisition, It has changed the traditional media ecological environment, accelerated the flow of social information, and provided the possibility of vertical communication among each individual. People’s communication channels and ways are becoming more and more diversified. The new communitarianism meets the psychological needs of people who are concerned, listened to and worshipped in modern society. With the development of new media, they can share in social media, construct self and group identity, and form a diverse community culture.

In the growth of generation Z, most parents teach them to be themselves. What kind of people do they want to be? How to live? How to get along with others? It's all up to themselves. And their biggest challenge to resolve is to get rid of insignificant social influences, and find themselves for who they truly are. And the process of consumerism is a strategy in Generation Z’s self-discovery.

The consumerism power of young groups has made many new domestic consumer brands rise rapidly. In the face of such a generation, the most important thing for a brand to do is express its personality and values that their products and services can bring them. As changes such as urbanization, population structure and social form are constantly under construction, a deeper understanding of this generation of young people is a key to help brands occupy a favorable position in the market.

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