The Gen-Z cohort: The dream of the brands, marketers, advertisers

Brand across sectors, right from FMCG to automobiles, want to lure in the upcoming generation of power buyers - Gen-Z

Tanzila Shaikh
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The Gen-Z cohort: The dream of the brands, marketers, advertisers

Brand across sectors, right from FMCG to automobiles, want to lure in the upcoming generation of power buyers - Gen-Z. From different brand narratives to effective storytelling and digital marketing, brands want to catch the attention of consumers from this demographic.

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen-Z are approximately 27% of India’s population.

While the older Gen-Z might be starting with their careers or pursuing higher education, a majority of them have begun their purchasing journey by having disposable income. Advertisers, brands, marketers, who are trying to sell their products, want to tap into the Gen-Z cohort. spoke to experts to understand the importance of this customer category and its importance for a brand.

Piali Dasgupta

Piali Dasgupta, Senior Vice-President Marketing at Columbia Pacific Communities, said, “The Gen-Z comprises the second-highest population in India at about 27%, after the millenials at 34%. So, ignoring such a large segment is not prudent for any brand or category. The growth of a brand in fact is higher if they talk to Gen-Z. Although they might not have heavy purchasing power today, in the next 5 years,  they are going to be a very important consumer segment.”

“Marketers always target consumer segments with disposable income. The older Gen-Z (between 22-25 years old) have great purchasing power,” she added.

Gen-Z is arguably the most educated consumer of today, compared to millennials or the generation before that, and having a strong set of opinions they see brands from a very different angle. This helps the brand to stay relevant and bring ethics to the table.

Vivek Srivastava

Vivek Srivastava, Joint Managing Director at Innocean Worldwide India, said, “Gen-Z is an unencumbered cohort. They see the world from a realistic lens given their liberated upbringing. This makes them articulate and vocal about a host of issues including society, career and even brands. They are not mere consumers. They are opinion shapers. This trait is driven by an experiential bias in their life and an eagerness to share their viewpoint. Hence marketers see them as a significant segment or consumer group.”

The younger generation creates brand awareness by talking about it on social media, thereby making noise about what the brands stand for. With the increasing woke culture amongst consumers, people go for brands that stands for value and aspires to give something back to the society. A report by Deloitte in 2021, shared insights on the increasing power of Gen-Z in the consumer world post-pandemic. 

Hitesh Malhotra

Agreeing with this, Hitesh Malhotra, Chief Marketing Officer at Reliance Beauty, said, ”Gen-Z lives their brands on social media. No matter what they shop for, they post it on their social media and it creates awareness. As for purchasing behaviour, a Gen-Z will go for market trends whereas a millennial will go for a discounted offer. So, they are a more profitable demographic for the business than the other age groups.”

Though every demographic has its benefits, it also comes with challenges. With the increasing number of social media platforms, brands, and content the attention span of people is decreasing with time. Malhotra has a different perspective on the decreasing attention span of consumers, he said that attention span is not a new problem, and it has been the same for a long time. From TV to digital or even print ads, people just flip/scroll through it if it fails to catch their attention in the starting 3-5 seconds. 

According to him, one of the challenges for marketers is that Gen-Z finds value in a brand. Making a narrative of values for Gen-Z is a big challenge. Storytelling is a key factor for marketers to make the brand resonate with any audience. Many marketers fail to communicate their values/ethics with effective storytelling to Gen-Z.

On the other hand, Srivastava said, “The biggest challenge is the depth of wallet in this generation of Zillennials as some call Gen-Z now. Opinion, affinity and recommendation scores may be high but may not result in an instant sales surge or a faster brand adoption curve. In addition, the cognitive fickleness of the cohort makes brand loyalty cycles much shorter than with other cohorts. An asset-light perspective towards life stages limits the role of many categories in their scheme of things.”

In the coming days, one of the emerging trends that can be seen in marketing is for the brands to stay organic and maintain authenticity. Dasgupta said that this generation is not afraid of calling out false practices by brands. Because of which, many brands are mending ways and keeping it real. It is clearly visible from the appreciation received by Colgate on the recent ad featuring Dolly Singh.

marketers advertisers The Gen-Z cohort The dream of the brands FMCG to automobiles