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How to Advertise, Engage & Sell to the Gen Z Consumer

This PSFK guide is a Gen z retail report for brands and retailers to engage a new generation of customers with customization, participation and enhanced ownership.

Executive Summary

Gen Z, the first truly digitally native generation, are used to moving seamlessly between the online and offline worlds, freely expressing themselves across platforms and in real-life interactions. This generation of consumers born between 1995 and 2014 has come of age during an unprecedented period of technological evolution, demographic shifts, and changing cultural norms, many of which they are leading. 

According to PSFK’s Gen Z’s Consumer Survey 2022, 57% of the Gen Z audience surveyed seeks out like minded community online who share their passions. This freedom allows them to view the world through a unique lens, making creativity and open-mindedness second nature and rendering old constructs and binary norms irrelevant. They are a generation that is able to adapt to new tech and is simultaneously creator and consumer.

Report Overview

Within this Gen Z retail report, PSFK provides brands and retailers with a framework that helps them to make sense of this new landscape, with guide posts around brand experience transformation and ways in which they should continue to evolve in order to engage with this new generation of consumers.

What You’ll Learn In This Report

  • How they respond to companies that connect to their values of authenticity, transparency, empowerment, customization and personalization.
  • Why an overwhelming 71% of Gen Z indicate a preference for brands and retailers that not only optimize profit, but are also focused on community.
  • How new brand and retail experiences not only cater to Gen Z, but they are being built by Gen Z in their own vision.

What’s In This Report?

In this guide, PSFK provides brands and retailers with a framework that helps them to make sense of Gen Z customers, with insights around brand experience transformation and ways in which brands and retailers should continue to evolve in order to engage with this generation of consumers.

This Gen Z retail report includes:

  • 8 Gen Z retail strategies for engaging the consumer including Programmable Customization, Circular Marketplaces,  Fan Focus Groups, Customer Stakeholders, Ambassador Storefronts, Owner Membership and Elevated Product Experience
  • 25 best-in-class examples of how brands and retailers are engaging, embracing and empowering Gen Z consumers
  • Proprietary statistics from PSFK Gen Z Study US, March 2022
  • Consumer insights into changing behaviors and expectations of the Gen Z consumer
  • Case studies across 22 pages including IKEA, Adidas, Nordstrom, Gucci, Michaels and more
  • Analysis of:
    • DAOs as digital coops with distributed responsibilities and egalitarian ambitions
    • NFTs that offer new forms of community ownership
    • Blockchain tech which is predicated on a publicly available general ledger offers new levels of transparency
    • AI tools that allow for personalization at scale
    • New ways of working that embrace more flexible, and ‘human’ approaches to work have broken out of the structures of the 9-to-5

Watch a Presentation of the Research + Expert Interviews

Experts in this video include: Piers Fawkes of PSFK and Retail Innovation Week, Lauren Lyons of PSFK, Lauren Chesley of SXM Media, Anthony Onesto of Suzy, Amanda Howe of Bain and Company, Stanley Lumax of NRG esports and Michael Abata of Shutterfly.

Who Prepared This Report?

This paper was developed by the same PSFK research department that since 2004 has provided trends-led innovation consulting advice to Apple, BMW, Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Volkswagen.