Tuesday, August 21

#GenerationZ: SA’s born frees are influencing spending

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“Older members of generation Z are already entering the workforce, and the generation as a whole has a significant influence on what their parents buy,” says GfK’s Rachel Thompson.

This generation is not just the consumer market of the future, but is already influencing consumer behaviour and spending patterns, says GfK.

“Older members of generation Z are already entering the workforce, and the generation as a whole has a significant influence on what their parents buy,” says GfK’s Rachel Thompson.

They are the country’s born frees, so they were not just born into a world that has never been without the internet, but also into a post-apartheid democratic South Africa.

“Their experience of apartheid is reflected in their family circumstances and what they read in history books. This spells opportunity for them, but also pressure.

“Many are the most educated in their households, and are expected to succeed and show responsibility for the rest of the family. Growing up in an age of instability, they are worried about security, unemployment and economic prosperity.”

They are the first generation to grow up with cellphones and social media, and have technology so integrated into their daily lives that there is “no need for them to learn or adapt”, Thompson says.

Furthermore, they reject rigid categorisations around gender identity, sexual orientation, age and sometimes even race, and are empowered and educated, and have strong self-belief.

“Generation Z consumers are used to sharing their opinions and understand their power to influence the world to their emotional or functional benefit. Just look at how they are changing the country through social media-driven campaigns such as #feesmustfall,” Thompson says.

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