The rise of kidult shoppers: New study reveals Gen Z are the next homemakers

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NEARLY a quarter of British students claimed they wanted to make a ‘home’ when they moved out of their childhood nest – with today’s Gen Z keener to keep house than Millennials.

New data by HiveMindMarketing, Manchester has lifted the lid on the rising trend of ‘Kidults’ – a new wave of young adults and students looking to create their own home, eat well and invest in products as they build their ‘grown-up’ lives.

The report polled 2,000 British adults who claimed they were under 23 years old when they became ‘loyal’ or a repeat shopper with the same brand – including categories such as pets (aged 19), beauty and grooming (23), clothing (22), sports (19), and homeware (23) .

Keen to place their loyalty Gen Z (16 – 23 year olds) were twice as likely as their millennial or boomer peers to commit to a brand or business, driven by quality rather than value like their elders.

The average age most Brits became a loyal shopper was “24” – suggesting the products they buy when they first move out of home or go to univerisity are the brands they buy for life.

Lee Chambers MSc MBPsS, Environmental and consumer psychologist, said: “Gen Z have grown up in a dynamic world of increased personal expression, and been subjected to digital and influencer marketing from a relatively young age. The adolescent to adult transition is now a journey in itself – often documented and focused on. In this period, as they shape their identity, there is a desire to create an environment and space that is stable.

“Alongside this exploration of identity, comes alignment to brands that facilitate both inward and outward expression of the adult Gen Z wish to become. Story and purpose-driven brands that align with values feel both safe and supportive during what is often a turbulent time, and brands which have given that comfort and expression during a period of cultivation become like an ally that was present and understands, creating loyalty and shared experience.”

The data showed ‘Kidults’ are willing to spend more to ensure a product or brand aligned with their ethics (41%). A similar number argued brands needed to have a social conscious (41%) be sustainable (46%) and vocal about issues such as ‘Black Lives Matters’ (36%). 

On environmental or ethical issues, Gen Zers were an average 10% more likely to align on values before purchasing than any other age group. 

In fact, aside from a staggering 64% of Boomers who are keen to shop ‘British’ – three times the average of any other age group – Gen Z were the most influenced by their core values and those of the brands, keen to making measured spending decisions but prepared to spend.

Reflecting on their days as a student, one in 10 of the 2,000 people surveyed told HiveMind Marketing they had remained loyal to brands they bought at university.

Unsurprisingly Gen Z are the most influenced by peer pressure (6%), double the average of every other age category but were half as likely that their millennial elders to be influenced by their parents.

Often presumed immune to the mighty advertiser, interestingly 16- to 23-year-olds were also the most likely to be influenced by billboard advertising of any age group, with a quarter confessing to being susceptible to social media advertising or influencers.

Contray to popular belief, ‘poor students’ is a thing of the past. HiveMindMarketing, Manchester research reveals youth shoppers are prepared to research and spend to get the right items.

Over the years many brands have dismissed marketing to students under the assumption they only buy what they need, at the lowest cost price. However, with 43% claiming university life taught them how to keep a home, HiveMind Marketing believe students are a pocket of loyal customers waiting to be tapped into. 

Bill McFall, from HiveMind Marketing, Manchester said: “Gen Z is moving out of home and establishing their lives as adult, unlike students before them they have a social conscious, they are spending more, and they are looking for brands to be loyal too. 

“With more than a third of people claiming they bought the same items on a weekly basis while at university, HiveMind is determined to help businesses access the Gen Z ‘journey buyer’ behaviour. Talking to students across their university timeline to allows brands to establish themselves as go-to products for these Kidults as they create their version of ‘grown up’ life.” Heading back to campus, 52% of the people surveyed claimed covid-19 had made them more determined to live a university lifestyle as normal.

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