Australia's Generation Z are not that swayed by influencers and celebrities, according to reserach by YouthInsight, the research arm of Student Edge, Australia’s largest body representing those aged 14-24.
The findings, including a survey of 1,000, shows companies need to use their voice with 70% of gen Z saying brands should take a stand on the issues they believe in.
Diversity is no longer an option with three-quarters believing brand advertising should be diverse and inclusive.
Only one-third (36%) is convinced by brand partnerships with influencers or celebrities.
Loyalty is a key purchasing influencer with 81% of respondents saying “once I find a brand I like, I will buy from them for a long time".
This is in addition to 75% of young people saying that brand advertising should be diverse and inclusive (particularly amongst females -- 86% compared to 65% of males), while 70% agree it’s important for companies to take a stand on the issues they believe in.
Three fifths (59%) said they would stop buying from a brand if they didn't agree with their morals or values.
Nearly half (42%) have put this into action and boycotted a company for this reason.
Seven out of 10 respondents said it's important to them that brands act ethically.
The top digital and entertainment brands according to Gen Z:
- YouTube (94% love + like score, same as 2019)
- Netflix (88% love + like score, new to the list since 2019)
- Spotify (87% love + like score, new to the list since 2019)
- Google Maps (84% love + like score, down 2 spots since 2019)
- Instagram (82% love + like score, down 2 spots since 2019)
- Snapchat (69% love + like score, down 2 spots since 2019)
- HOYTS Cinemas (67% love + like score, new to the list since 2019)
- Event Cinemas (62% love + like score, new to the list since 2019)
- Reddit (62% love + like score, down 1 spot since 2019)
- Facebook (62% love + like score, down 5 spots since 2019)
Cristiano Lima, head of research at YouthInsight: “The Top 10 list is made up of brands purely in the retail, technology, and apps and entertainment space, showing the importance of these categories to young people.
"Brands dominating their categories are often those who ‘get’ Gen Z; they are up to date with trends and are authentic in their marketing without trying too hard to impress them.
“The insight also confirms the growing market sentiment for brands to not only speak with intention, but to act that way too. YouTube has made a considerable effort to be an equal opportunity platform for all creators and communities this last year, and this has clearly resonated with Gen Z. Likewise, Officeworks’ Positive Difference Plan show’s the brand’s proactive effort towards making the world a better place.
“In other words, Gen Z has issued a clear call to action — now is the time for brands to speak up, own their beliefs and stand for good if they’re going to have relevance tomorrow.”
The study revealed that 86% use social media everyday: Instagram being the platform of choice, followed by Snapchat , Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok.
While 60% said they would buy from a brand that they discovered on social media, only one-third (36%) is swayed by brand partnerships with influencers and celebrities.
Lima says this is likely due to concerns around authenticity and transparency.
“We know this generation values things like honesty, privacy and genuineness. This crosses into their trust of influencers and big businesses.”
“Take for example Google and Google Maps. While they are still firmly in the top 10 list, concerns over the use of their personal data, and who it is potentially shared with, were strongly expressed in the study’s commentary. This likely influenced their drop in ranking compared to 2019.
"Brands that were seen to be more transparent with their privacy policies also grew in favour, such as Spotify, Apple and PayPal . It’s likely this trust sentiment also applies to influencers.”
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