Access vs. Ownership: The Pragmatism of Generation Z

Mar 16, 2021 | 212 Articles, Generation Z, Trends

In less than 30 years, Generation Z, or Gen Z, will have surpassed Millennials as the most powerful buying force in consumer markets. Successful businesses that want to attract this influential generation of buyers should focus on understanding what drives their motivations and purchases.

One of Gen Z’s trademark identifiers is risk aversion. Having grown up during the recession, they are realistic and frugal—they want access, not necessarily ownership.

To learn more about Gen Z’s desire for cost-consciousness, truth, and authenticity, download our eBook: Gen Z: The Future of Consumer Engagement.

Access vs. Ownership
Gen Z has watched banks fail, pensions dissolve, and debt soar. They’ve witnessed friends and family struggle financially, and they have seen political debates over the future of everything from college loan interest rates to healthcare to stimulus checks. All these events have left Generation Z exceedingly cautious.

Because Gen Z is more pragmatic than past generations, they have a tendency to invest their time and money in the “sharing economy.” They purchase only the necessities, avoid ownership, and keep their assets liquid. Generation Z views consumption as having access to products or services—not necessarily owning them. As a result, “consumption” has taken on a new meaning.

To adapt to these changing ideals, experts suggest creating platforms of products, services, and experiences that connect customers around brands without requiring ownership. For example, some car manufacturers are renting vehicles directly to consumers, while sporting-goods businesses are offering opportunities for people to access coaching, equipment, and community with no long-term commitment.

Needs Before Wants
To influence Gen Z’s purchasing trends, companies must turn wants into needs. This generation is more likely to buy products and services they consider necessities, so by establishing your company as a supplier of these necessities, you’ll open the door for a purchase.

To win Gen Z’s loyalty, you must convince them that your company’s service or product is essential. This new generation of consumers wants to avoid risks, so it’s up to you to prove that your business is invaluable for their success. Contact us to help you put together a strategy that eliminates their doubt.

Generation Z will continue to gain more spending power. Businesses that acknowledge and adapt to this generation’s needs will succeed, while those who fail to address their demands will become obsolete.

Build a strong foundational relationship with your Generation Z audience by learning what makes them tick. In doing so, you’ll create more opportunities for your business. To learn more, download our eBook.

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