There was never so much talk about generations as in the last year! According to a survey we conducted here at Adventures, interest in the subject has never been higher. There was a 127% increase in the search for Generation Z, 37% for Y and 33% for X. In fact, I believe that curiosity about the topic has always existed, but nowadays it is more evident mainly due to the huge difference between thoughts, interests and values, which has intrigued brands about what these new consumers expect and how they can win them over.
The fact is that we, as a society, need to be aware of every new detail that presents itself in order to understand more deeply what the next few years will be like. Furthermore, brands need to keep their eyes and minds open to understand what is important to these new consumers. For this, it is necessary to analyze the scenario as a whole. Even with the differences that technology itself has proposed, the current context we are living in has also had a direct impact on how people behave today and in the future.
Of all generations, Y and Z are the ones who are feeling the effects of this new panorama the most. For example, given the circumstances in which we operate, they are the ones who experience record rates of unemployment and inflation. Here we see the purchasing power decreasing, which has shaken the concern and, consequently, the happiness of this group of people. Brazil has been experiencing a wave of unemployment since 2012, which has been aggravated by the pandemic, in which 64% of people had their jobs affected, especially Gen Z and 50% of millennials, who are seeing their financial situation worse or more stagnant in the next year.
Another important point that changed due to the current scenario was the organizational culture. On the one hand, the uncertainties brought by Covid-19 have increased the share of Millennials who want to spend more than five years in the same job (from 28% to 35%). On the other hand, companies are adapting to the needs of these generations and providing the necessary support to face this period. In other words, it becomes increasingly necessary for companies to pay attention to these retention factors and to change their mindset.
Among the issues that concern generations Y and Z, we have climate issues as a major highlight since the pre-pandemic. In fact, during the pandemic, the subject ranked second after health concerns. The effects of reducing carbon emissions during the lockdown caused environmental optimism. As a result, 40% of people (millennials and gen Z) believe that the commitment to take personal actions for environmental problems will be greater after the pandemic. Thus, the intention to cause positive changes in local and global communities has grown, but at a level of individual attitudes and with less governmental or private expectations.
But even though these generations understand that real change needs to start at home, they highly value companies that have a positive impact on society. And, although they are still suspicious of their real intentions, it is essential that companies understand the importance of these attitudes so that this global perception can be built, little by little. About 75% of people say that when the pandemic improves, they will make an effort to buy from local businesses and/or small businesses and 60% will buy from large companies that acted positively during the pandemic. Issues such as equality and inclusion have not been forgotten either, and are certainly real concerns for them.
Looking at all these points, what becomes more and more open is that, despite being going through challenging situations, both generations believe that companies and governments have shown positive responses to the pandemic, and believe in new opportunities. And, while they understand that their role within these transformations is not to “wait for things to happen”, but rather to “make it happen”, they also know very well who they want to be alongside in this fight: brands that understand and give support the needs of the entire society and that they are attentive to their personal desires and desires.
Thus, the role of business today is to go far beyond rice and beans. They need to understand their audience in depth, all their preferences, tastes, expectations, among others. For this, it is essential that they collect and analyze a huge amount of data and, although it seems difficult today, this task is simpler, especially because the online world is the universe of consumers today and everything is there, on cell phones.
Currently, all interactions on social networks, websites, etc., generate data that, if analyzed correctly, will be the great watershed between who wins and who loses the game. After all, having the ability to understand where people place their attention, and thus structuring a way to deliver content so that they achieve or have what they want to achieve is critical to success these days. In addition, more than offering a product or service that provides a solution for a certain “pain”, it is also essential that this company has real and ingrained values that truly connect with its consumers.
Rapha Avellar is founder of Adventures