Brands face losing out on Gen Z if they don’t prioritise purpose

Global agency network Dentsu found that Gen Z expects brands to demonstrate purpose beyond profit, registering the highest levels of concern about social issues than any other generation.

Revealed as part of Dentsu UK and Ireland’s latest ‘Read the Room: Pursuing Happiness’ report, the agency’s research clearly indicates that Gen Z place purpose on a pedestal when deciding purchases, with 90% saying that they are concerned with social issues.

Crucially for brands, the need for a guiding purpose strategy becomes even clearer when three in four (75%) respondents said that they would be more likely to buy a product when a portion of the purchase goes to charity.

This pattern of purchasing behaviour also extends into a brand’s advertising output, with 70% of Gen Z agreeing that they would prioritise buying from brands that demonstrate emotional intelligence in their advertising.

“In another economically challenging year, a people-centred focus must be a priority for brand strategy and business growth,” Dentsu UK & Ireland CEO, Angela Tangas said.


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“Our insights reaffirm that understanding both consumer and customer behaviours, anticipating their needs and creating new ways to meaningfully and authentically connect is critical.

She continued: “We can clearly see that consumers, especially Gen Z, expect more from brands in terms of environmental sustainability and social impact, at a time when technology is enabling new experiences and cultivating new behaviours.

“The demand for purpose means authenticity is paramount, which will be key to unlocking wins today and preparing for tomorrow.”

Dentsu’s research has also found that Gen Z’s interest in purpose and social equality is far from superficial – with Gen Z giving the highest proportion of their salary (5%) to charity compared to other generations.

The generosity comes despite more than half of the demographic (57%) reporting that they are ‘extremely anxious’ about their finances in the immediate future.

Prioritising brands with a sense of purpose isn’t exclusive to Gen Z however, as more customers from diverse age groups are also taking these values on board, with a quarter of so-called ‘Boomers’ now saying they prefer such brands.

AgenciesNewsResearch and Data

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