70% GenZ more willing to buy brands that stand up for environmental & social causes: Havas report
Gen Z report 2022 by Havas Spark suggest that while generation Z may be new consumers, they are by no means naive.
Havas Group India has recently concluded the 2nd edition of its flagship internship programme, Havas Spark, and launched the intern-led Havas Spark 2.0 Gen Z Report 2022.
One of the advertising industry’s biggest internship programmes, Havas Spark 2.0, which kickstarted in April 2022, saw 21 bright, young interns transform into integral members of the Havas Group India network. Launched in 2021, Havas Spark is a one-of-a-kind 6-month intensive training programme that gives aspiring industry entrants an opportunity to explore various career paths in a structured yet flexible manner.
In a graduation ceremony conducted on October 11, 2022, which marked the completion of Havas Spark 2.0, a report called Gen Z Report 2022 was launched. The study presented in the report was conceptualised and executed by the interns as part of their curriculum. The purpose of the study was to provide insights about the newest generation of Indian consumers by exploring how they perceive brands, what drives their purchase decisions, their media consumption patterns and more.
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To get a more defined and representative view of Gen Z within the Indian context, individuals aged 16-24 years across 9 metro and tier 1+ cities formed the sample. An additional layer of insight was added by virtue of the researchers, i.e., the Havas Spark interns, belonging to generation Z themselves. The final report, which included both quantitative as well as qualitative analysis approaches, shed light on several interesting outcomes which help us better understand Gen Z and bust commonly held misconceptions about them.
One of the top insights of the study was that 70% Gen Zs are more willing to consider buying from a brand that stands up for environmental and social causes that they believe in. The revelation that Gen Z prefers brands whose values align with their own raises’ questions about the presumption that they are careless and voracious consumers. Furthermore, sustainability, for Gen Z, transcends the label of ‘environmental cause’ to encompass a more conscious, mindful mindset that is manifested in small actions as well as larger, more institutional-level ones; for example, not littering or carrying one’s own bag to the market or even reusing plastic containers all inform the concept of sustainability.
Another interesting insight is that when it comes to attracting Gen Z’s attention, the humour factor (27%) works best, followed by luxurious (26%), emotional (17%), and with satire, serious tones each taking 15%. This may be indicative of why moment and meme marketing are so popular.
From the perspective of brands, sustained brand loyalty from consumers is prized. Inability to adapt to changing times emerges as one of the key reasons Gen Z (according to the study, 60%) loses interest in a brand. Other reasons are sub-standard user experience (54%), poor customer service (49%), limited range of products (42%), false celebrity endorsements (32%) and finally, unjustified product prices (21%).
Brands that are digitally savvy, adopt the latest tech to make the consumer journey more seamless and effectively leverage social media platforms are the go-to choice for Gen Z. When it comes to digital consumption, social media is where Gen Z best express themselves (18%), the most preferred platforms being Instagram and YouTube. On average, 29% of Gen Z spend 1-2 hours on these two platforms. When it comes to influencers, Gen Z feels that influencers represent their own values and beliefs and reflect what they aspire to be.
In addition to generating insights on Gen Z, the study served a dual purpose of busting some preconceived about Gen Z. One of the most misunderstood aspects about Gen Z is their relationship with money. Contrary to the belief that Gen Z does not handle their finances responsibly, results reveal that Gen Z is an extremely money-savvy generation. They actively discuss and educate themselves on wealth growth and management, redefining money as a means of elevating quality of life.
As per the report, some other observations about Gen Z are:
- Gen Z is a stressed and anxious generation but at the same time, they are proud advocates of mental health and wellbeing.
- Gen Z prefers smart work that stimulates growth as opposed to hard work. Additionally, Gen Z believes organizational structure is important, but hierarchical boundaries should be porous, allowing them the ability to impact final decision-making.
- Gen Z continues to demand transparency & authenticity from brands over big claims and celebrity endorsements.
Vandana Tilwani, CHRO, Havas Group India, said, “The programme is meticulously designed so that the newcomers are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of their respective disciplines as well as challenged to go the extra mile by engaging with clients via live projects. This experience not only gives the interns a taste of how the industry operates but is also a conscious effort on the part of Havas Group India to pump fresh voices and perspectives back into the industry.
The experience of working on the Gen Z 2022 Report has been a key element in the overall learning journey of the SPARKs. Our effort is to provide as much real experience as possible in these 6 months which is why the whole programme has been designed to ensure that the transition into a full-time role is seamless and natural.”
Commenting on the findings of the Gen Z 2022 Report, Sanchita Roy, Head – Strategy, Havas Media Group India, said, “Gen Z is perhaps one of most misunderstood generations of our times and probably the most enigmatic at the same time. In keeping with our philosophy of finding meaningfulness in everything we do; we launched the second edition of our Gen Z study with the Havas SPARK interns this year. The study, divided in two parts, not only explores Gen Z’s relationship with brands and media but also busts some of the myths surrounding them. The report will help brands not only make a meaningful difference but also plan more effectively, as they try to forge stronger and better connections with this digitally native audience with a natural penchant for quick changes.”