Born between 1997 and 2012, Generation Z (aka Gen Z, iGen, or centennials), follows millennials and represents in China a 270-million-strong cohort of young people, and 30% of the consumption in China. They have the fastest spending growth out of any generation in China, are top buyers of cosmetics and tourism services, and have upended online shopping. Focus on the power of China’s Gen Z.
Gen Z, who are they?
First generation of digital natives, China’s Gen Z has grown up during an exceptional era of rapid social and economic development in China. They are used to rapid improvements, familiar with technology as a way to communicate but also for entertainment and commerce.
Considered the most confident of all generations with an affinity for traditional culture and patriotism, the Gen Z does their homework before purchasing products as they do prefer rational decisions instead of excessive consumption. The root of nationalist pride is neither political or state-oriented, but the innovative entrepreneurs who are part of China’s transformation.
The concept of “Guochao” or “China Chic” is definitely a strong DNA of the Gen Z consumers, meaning products that include national elements, oriental aesthetic or interpretation of traditional culture. This “national tide” movement applies for domestic brands but also for foreign brands who need to work on a deeper understanding of Chinese’s culture, as China’s youth hopes for brands to create a real emotional connection and authentic marketing for consumers.
Compared with other generations, Gen Z is more eager to help the growth of small brands they love and believe in as part of self expression. They want to be different, which makes them proactive in seeking and nurturing brands that match their cultural and heritage values.
How to resonate with Gen Z as a brand
Looking for unique products and services, Gen Z increasingly researches purchases and complete transactions online and will expect a consistent customer experience across online and offline touchpoints. Sensitive to transparency and KOL, their decisions of buying are driven by different online sources : reviews, discussion forums or official social media.
As they tend to overspend their budget, they refer to themselves as “the moonlight clan” or the propensity to spend their entire monthly salary over a single lunar cycle, so paycheck to paycheck. Hungry for uniqueness, this generation is a part of the population to consider as a special market and growing power for brands.