Is Gen Z the marketers’ savior amidst a looming recession?

Published: April 24, 2023

min read

Everybody is talking about a bad recession and an economic downturn that is looming upon us. This has put most people on alert mode, with people choosing to limit their spending to just the essentials. Some people are cutting back on even that.

During such uncertain times, Wunderkind has a new study entitled “The Industry Pulse: Consumer Spending during Economic Uncertainty,” based on a survey of 500 consumers in the U.S.

According to this study there were some important findings –

They found that, across demographics, 52% of U.S. consumers are cutting back on non-essentials.

Apart from this, a good 37% of them were cutting back on essentials too.

13% of high-income earners are pulling back from buying luxury goods.

But it is a whole different story when it comes to Gen Z!

Gen Z intends to continue to spend like they always have. (Except for 22% of them)

According to the report,

In the U.S., the younger generation isn’t fazed by the economic downturn as they registered the highest levels of consumer confidence, with only 22% stating a need to reduce discretionary spending.

And about 63% of Gen Z feel that there was no need to cut back on buying luxury goods at all.

Tips for the Marketer

When there is a recession around the corner, threatening to cast its icy shadow over everything, what can brands do?

We think that a fine balance should do the trick. You keep your older demographic satisfied but you fix your attention purely on Gen Z.

Gen Z has a collective spending power of $4.4 Trillion. They are a powerful, diverse and complex generation and it is important for marketers to get a hang of how Gen Z hangs, to engage with them meaningfully.

Unfortunately for most brands, Gen Z thinks of them as a group of self-serving and money-making enterprises with no concern for the society or the environment. So in order to get their attention, the environment and the well-being of the society need to be factored into brands’ strategies.

Ensure that your content is mobile-friendly. Gen Z is on a mobile device a lot. They use it to shop and browse, play games, feed on entertainment and news and also stay connected with their friends and family. They engage with videos, stories, gifs and reels – so ensure that your content is available to them in those modes. They also turn to TikTok or Instagram instead of Google when they are searching for something. Brands would do well, to be where Gen Z is.

Gen Z trusts their favorite influencers and buys their recommendations – so it pays to link up with authentic influencers that Gen Z trusts and follows. It is important to remember that Gen Z likes influencers who are authentic – they trust the honest opinion from them, rather than a paid endorsement.

Gen Z is a digital native – they are very comfortable creating content which they share with others, and they consume the content that others have created as well. So using your user-generated content can be good for you. Ask your users to use your product and create content around it. You can showcase this in your web pages.

Finally remember to produce content that is creative and fun – because that is what will appeal to Gen Z.

Since Gen Z is the largest group of consumers that brands will have to target, it really is important to know what appeals to them. Do a lot of research and work on building a messaging that will resonate with them. And regardless of what you do, ensure that you are authentic and entertaining.


Jasmine Jackson

Jasmine is a social media maven with a talent for building engaged communities. She's a natural storyteller and has a way of making complex ideas accessible to everyone. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and exploring new cuisines.


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