Despite their comparative youth, Gen Z consumers wield significant financial clout, in terms of both their own spending and the influence they exert on household spending, a study shows.

When Snap, the camera company, teamed up with GlobalWebIndex to survey 79,000 consumers aged between 16 and 22 years old across 45 markets, it found that Gen Z’s economic impact is greater than that of past generations at the same age.

In the US alone, those younger consumers already spend $44bn annually and influence a total of $600bn in household spend.

And unlike many millennials – especially in Western markets – who returned from college or university to live at home and rely for a time on the so-called “bank of mum and dad”, Gen Z already show signs of greater financial independence.

This age group is less likely to be living with their parents than even five years ago, according to Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer at GlobalWebIndex.

“They are slightly more independent than millennials,” he told WARC. “That ‘boomerang generation’ tag was more of a millennial trait” – although he acknowledged that living status varies massively by country. (For more, read WARC’s article: Snap’s exploration of Gen Z consumer behaviour and attitudes.)

But whatever their specific circumstances, Amy Moussavi, Snap’s soon-to-depart Head of Consumer Insights and report author, argued that brands would be missing an opportunity if they fail to adapt marketing strategies to engage with this audience.“One of the things we hear a lot from brands focused on a 30-plus target audience is, ‘oh, Gen Z’s too young for our product’,” she said.

“The reality is that this generation is spending more and influencing more than the millennial generation was [at the same age], and they are going to be entering their peak income years.

“Whether you have a Gen Z strategy today or tomorrow, you’re going to need one in the next several years. I just think it’s really important that brands are seeing these trends ahead of time, so that they’re not unable to change their strategy by the time Gen Z is in their target market.”

Sourced from WARC