BBC Studios today announced the findings of a new in-depth study into Generation Z, focused on revealing the preferences and motives of a new generation with purchase power, making it easier for advertisers to target an emerging, commercially receptive segment. The study, titled Brands, News and Gen Z, offers advertisers deeper insight into what motivates Gen Z, how this generation engages with news and what influences their decision-making process for purchases.
The study shows that despite growing up in a digital, filtered and increasingly volatile world, Gen Z are grounded, self-assured, ambitious and steadfast in their values, which align most closely with those of the boomer generation, while incorporating the sensibilities of younger generations.
Authenticity, as defined by Gen Z, is about honesty, originality, trust and quality. For Gen Z, brands aren’t just an expression of what they like, they’re an expression of what they value. They are more inclined to consume brands that are authentic, as they come closer to representing their values, beliefs and sense of community. The research found that 80% of India Gen Z respondents said that authenticity plays an influential role on their choice of brands. If a brand is authentic, the Indian Gen Z are more likely to be loyal to the brand (81%), recommend it to others (78%), buy their products and services again (73%).
The research found that globally Gen Z are more likely to trust the content of media platforms that they find authentic. This preference for authenticity also extends to where Gen Z obtain their information, with only 18% being inspired by someone they follow on social media. Despite growing up in a digital world, Gen Z believe social media has created pressure to ‘present’, ‘perform’ and ‘perfect’, making it much harder to be authentic. In order to be authentic Indian Gen Z respondents agree that its crucial for news publishers to provide the readers with a 360-degree perspective (64%), give platform to people whose voices are trusted (63%), and publish fact-checked stories (61%).
When a news media brand is trusted and perceived as authentic, Indian Gen Z prefer to engage with advertising and branded content presented by that news media brand. 60% of the Gen Z respondents in India said they try out the brand they see on the authentic news media brand, and even more, 73% engage further with other contents that the news media brand produces or reports on.
Alistair McEwan, SVP Commercial Development, BBC News APAC, says: “This research is particularly prominent in India where the results show increased importance placed on authenticity by Gen Z compared to the rest of the world. We are always striving to learn more about the composition of our audience and the Gen Z cohort is an important emerging segment and this research highlights that there are many similarities with older cohorts. These insights will help brands better understand the nuances of marketing to Gen Z and in creating effective policy settings and appropriate messaging.”
Top aspirations in life for Gen Z are being successful, being authentic/true to yourself and being content. The study found the Indian Gen Z are the most ‘driven’ cohort among all in terms of their ambition to ‘be successful’ in life. Embracing who you really are (44%), and remaining honest in all circumstances (40%) are the most popular definition of authenticity among global Gen Z. For Indian Gen Z ‘Being a good friend’ is rated highly as being their authentic self, and 58% consider career important aspect in their life. Being successful is very important for Indian Gen Z, that is much higher than the global average (49% vs. 29%).