“A trendy product is not enough to satisfy young consumers”

Charlotte Delobelle from Fashion Snoops explains why brands need to have a strong identity, transmit positive values and a good CSR policy to attract younger consumers.

How are priorities changing among younger consumers when it comes to fashion consumption?

The various economic, ecological and health crises have generated new purchasing behaviour. Educated, over-informed, curious and involved in social networks, young consumers are perfectly able to decipher the marketing and commercial strategies of brands. They are becoming more and more demanding and responsible. They demand dialogue, respect, transparency and credibility from brands in return for their loyalty. Young consumers don’t buy by chance; their consumption behaviours are the result of determinants that are necessary to know and understand well in order to optimise marketing decisions.

Does this differ per generation? If so, how?

Regarding Generation Z, it is a much more homogeneous group in attitudes, behaviours and purchasing criteria. Zs are strongly influenced by their social group and they are more influenced than the other generations by the image of a brand, paying attention to the comments received and the celebrities who support it.

Even more markedly than in other generations, Generation Z attaches great importance to price, but not in the traditional sense of finding a ‘bargain’. Instead of flocking to the fast fashion that really took off with millennials, Gen Z attaches more importance to the origin and production process, understanding that a higher price is not only indicative of higher quality but ethical and sustainable production as well.

More eager than other generations to have a unique style and create unique content, Gen Z appreciates brands that understand their desire for uniqueness, particularly through capsule collections, personalised or tailor-made products.

Why are priorities changing?

One core tenant of trend forecasting methodology is ‘the law of the pendulum swing’. As consumers we crave novelty and are constantly seeking out new and exciting products to assist us in expressing our moods. Thus, when the pendulum swings too far into one aesthetic, over time we tend to get bored and crave the complete opposite. With younger generations, we are seeing more involvement in social responsibility issues such as equality, diversity and human rights, impacting consumer needs, wants and values.

What do brands need to bear in mind when creating content and product?

A trendy product is not enough to satisfy young consumers. Today, brands must have a strong identity, transmit positive values, know how to communicate through social networks and have a good CSR policy. Consumers will have an easier time supporting a brand if it is transparent in its communication and if it creates a climate of trust. They want to be valued and reassured by taking their specificities into account.

Charlotte Delobelle is Fashion Snoops’ European brand ambassador. She is participating in a panel session at Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit (9-11 June, online) alongside Kids Industries’ Gary Pope and Kantar’s Claire McLelland about the way priorities are changing across different generations of consumer.

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