Future of Consumption: Unlocking Gen Z Behaviour for Crafting Powerful Strategies

March 2024

Generation Z, comprising one-fifth of the global population, is poised to wield significant consumer influence. However, their polarized behaviours toward social activism, technology, and spending present challenges for businesses. This report provides actionable strategies, leveraging Gen Z's key values - empowerment, self-expression, belonging, rationality, and retreat - to build a future-proof customer base.

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Key findings

Numerosity and consumer income growth potential outlines Gen Z as the powerful future consumers

Gen Z, constituting a fifth of the global population, foresees more than a twofold income surge by 2040, cementing their high influence as future consumers. Understanding Gen Z's market potential complexities requires a holistic approach beyond demographics and consumer income analysis.

Contrary behaviours make it difficult to reach and target Gen Z

Gen Z consumers exhibit apparent behavioural polarisation. While endorsing social and environmental responsibility, they hesitate to pay a premium for these values. Tech engagement mirrors enthusiasm but so do privacy and mental health concerns. Despite financial caution, Gen Z tends to splurge on small indulgencies. Deciphering Gen Z’s motives necessitates identifying the key values driving their actions.

Gen Z’s key values help brands navigate their dichotomous behaviours

Gen Z’s contrary behaviours can be bridged by including the key values in the strategies. Empowerment helps with the value-action gap in environmental and social responsibility. Creativity, belonging and willingness to unplug or retreat are influential in bridging the mistrust in tech and cautious spending. When used together, these values can win Gen Z over.

Hyper-personalised loyalty, spending research and emotional connection can help to engage better

Utilising hyper-personalised loyalty programmes, implementing micro-segmentation based on consumer spending analysis, and fostering emotional connections are pivotal strategies in tapping into Gen Z behaviours. However, the values hold the utmost significance for this demographic and all strategies should be developed around them.

Gen Z marketing is about co-creation and communication

To optimise marketing strategies for Gen Z, businesses should prioritise video-centric social media platforms such as TikTok, known for user-generated content and creativity. Higher reach yet can be achieved by addressing Gen Z on communication apps such as WhatsApp and Discord, which are valued for fostering like-minded communities and connections.

Key f indings
Generation Z’s influence to grow exponentially by 2040
Gen Z Market Potential Explorer: Demographics are not enough
Unveiling optimal geographies: The US stands out for overall potential
Yet, the struggle with Gen Z is their behaviour
Generation Z considers sustainability and social responsibility intrinsic
Overcoming the value-action gap is important for companies
“It’s complicated” status with technology
Netflix gives back viewers’ data to increase transparency and show where the data is used
Saving in a squeeze, splurging for joy
Financial advice from Apple Savings, Samsung Money and UOB TMRW’s Auto-Save
Top five values to tackle polarised Gen Z behaviours
Empowerment: A means to bridge the value-action gap
Empowerment: Snapchat promotes civic engagement with “Run for Office Mini” tool
Empowerment: PepsiCo Arab Youth Hackathon at COP28 inspires future leaders
Self-expression: How creativity bridges differing Gen Z’s tech attitudes
Self-expression: Samsung’s Future Generation Lab partners with African creatives
Belonging: Gen Z finds connection on communication platforms
Belonging: Xianyu is more than a second-hand platform, it is a community
Belonging: Starbucks cultivates connection through the Discord community
Rationality: Balancing budget and indulgence in uncertain times
Rationality: Parle Products achieves growth thanks to small indulgent bites
Retreat: Gen Z consumers strive to unplug in many forms
Retreat: Collaboration between Xbox and Calm to improve the mental health of gamers
Unlocking Gen Z engagement: Strategies to leverage the key values
Hyper-personalised loyalty appeals to Gen Z’s individualistic and pragmatic sides
Lacoste banks on gaming and personalisation with its UNDW3 NFT loyalty card
Consumer spending research is a stepping stone for Gen Z psychographic research
Harnessing the emotional power of storytelling and nostalgia
In a nutshell: A blueprint for Gen Z engagement
Generation Z: How to win
Questions we are asking


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