CHICAGO: Gen Z’s preferences tend to have significant influence on the purchase behaviors of their household, according to new research which recommends that manufacturers and retailers adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.

Cross-generational studies of this emerging population undertaken by insights provider IRI in partnership with The Family Room, found that 47% of older Gen Zers (aged 18-21) participated in their household’s grocery shopping and influenced

And as their role in determining product choice grows and their brand loyalties and motivations become more refined, IRI argued, understanding Gen Z’s particular influences and how they play out at the shelf will be critical for manufacturers and retailers.

“Gen Z is deeply motivated by authenticity and a brand’s ‘emotional DNA’, which we define as how completely a product or brand aligns with the values shoppers attribute to it,” said Robert I. Tomei, president of Consumer and Shopper Marketing and Core Content Services for IRI.

“Because Gen Z shoppers rely more on brand recognition to make purchase decisions than their millennial counterparts,” he added, “it is critical that manufacturers and retailers create transparent and authentic relationships with the Gen Z population early on to build loyalty as their purchasing power grows.”

Personalization is one route to achieving this as, unlike older generations, a significant proportion of the Gen Z cohort (38%) think it’s cool to get ads or promotions in their social media feeds for products based on their interests/shopping habits.

And 42% of younger Gen Z kids see personalization as a great way to discover new products and services.

Product variety is also important: the study found the number of unique Universal Product Codes (UPCs) purchased in households with Gen Z children was significantly higher than those without.

Importantly, Gen Z indicated little interest in or patience for brands that try to “sell them” without sincerely working to get to know them.

They want to be an active part of the brand relationship and to be part of the innovation process – but this has to be purposeful and collaborative innovation that aligns new products or services with their specific needs and values , stressed Lynne Gillis, principal of Survey and Segmentation for IRI.

Sourced from IRI; additional content by WARC staff