Now is the time to stimulate conscious growth and foster sustainable practices across the world – and in Austin in particular. To lead the charge and drive change, CPG companies must adopt natural and sustainable processes and products – backed by authenticity and the desire to do social good.
The good news is there are major monetary benefits to aligning to such causes within your Gen Z customer base. In fact, 62% of Gen Zers prefer to buy from sustainable brands. They’re also the most willing generation to pay more for sustainable products (73%).
That’s nothing to glance over, either. Gen Z already accounts for up to $143 billion in direct spending, and their influence expands even further, with 93% of parents claiming their children influence family and household purchases.
So how can you best position your brand to win the hearts of the next generation?
It all starts with authenticity
After surveying over 800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24, PurPics found one key trait reigned supreme with this group: authenticity.
Gen Z dissects every detail in a brand’s message. They seek to ensure that what they’re viewing is pure and honest. Your brand must rely on clear and concise positioning, and your marketing channels must reflect the same.
So for your brand, going the influencer route isn’t a guaranteed means to bypass the critique. When asked what are the signs that tell whether a brand-influencer partnership is inauthentic, Gen Z called out quite a bit. From scripted content (14%), to the influencer’s personality (10%) and the choice in brands that they promoted (6%), college consumers can spot whether your brand is being shared from a place for authenticity.
There is still upside for your brand, though. Respondents noted that increases in authenticity (45%) would help create better influencer partnerships for brands. Layer on top an increased support for relevant social causes (23%) and your brand has a winning combo. (We’ll get back to this in a minute.)
There are even more positive signs for your brand leveraging more authentic influencers to access the younger group of this ever-important demo. Younger Gen Z respondents (39%) view influencers more favorably than their older counterparts (31%). With more recent creators gaining popularity in the younger portion of the Gen Z demo (like David Dobrik), it’s authenticity that’s winning them over. These creators are hosting content true to themselves, and it’s paying off.
With the right focus in influencer selection along with a transparent approach to messaging, influencer marketing is a channel worth exploring to boost your brand’s perceptions of authenticity amongst Gen Z.
Make a commitment to social good
Our Gen Z Influencer survey also revealed a significant finding on Gen Z’s affinity for supporting social good, and for good reason.
There’s tangible value in aligning with social issues. 63% of college consumers are more likely to purchase products from companies that support charitable causes
Beyond purchase behavior, the impact of alignment could be huge for your brand. A whopping 94% of Gen Z consumers believe that brands should support social causes. By not doing so, you’re potentially ruling your product out of the consideration-phase of an entire generation.
Bringing the two together
Authenticity + Social Good = a winning combo.
Austin-based beverage brand, CLEAN CAUSE, has already seen how tying the two together can pay off, achieving 7.6x above their normal campaign engagement rates through this effort. And while brand awareness was the ultimate goal of their campaign launch, CLEAN also saw a sizable jump in new user sales directly attributed to the campaign through the use of digital coupon codes.
For Gen Z, their peers are the most valuable resource for brands to leverage. There’s inherent trust there and with your brand attached, you’ve got an “in” to drive authentic awareness and sales for your brand.
If you’re interested in tapping into Gen Z through peer influencers, you’ve come to the right place – just reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear more about your business’s current strategies in reaching college consumers and where we could fit in.
*Study surveyed 800+ 19-24 year-old college students across 9 U.S. states and 21 universities. The results are representative of U.S. college students under the age of 25 (99% confidence level; 5% margin of error).