Millennial and Gen Z Buyer Behavior: The Marketing Grinch Who’ll Steal Christmas?


Women on phoneAs we quickly approach December and holiday gift-giving, I’ve done my shopping homework. I’m socially listening to the hottest products for my teenage nieces and nephews, keeping an ear open at the dinner table on what my husband wants (no, you’re not getting a BBQ smoker!) and stocking my own Sephora cart, ready to hit ‘purchase’ once the sale of the season comes. I’ve also received the long Christmas wish list from my stepdaughter, noting her desire for a puppy near the end.

Didn’t I see all of what she wanted coming, though? From the new coat to clothes, jewelry, makeup and other items, this seems aligned with the teenage culture nowadays. Gen Z has become very meticulous and brand loyal in what they wear, the hair products and deodorant they use, and the phone they carry. The capacity in which you see these generations out buying these items is pretty infrequent, though.

According to Adweek, Millennials and Gen Z-ers are actually buying less and looking at products differently. Clique, the parent company of Who What Wear, Byrdie, MyDomaine, Obsessee and College Fashionista, conducted a study on investment purchases and found that nearly three-quarters of millennials and two-thirds of Gen Z-ers are being more selective than ever about what they buy.

The Millennial/Gen Z buyer wave is more focused on milestone purchases, opting for quality and being mindful of the need rather than copping something for popularity and the risk of getting trampled on Black Friday for it.

Is this new buyer behavior stifling companies’ marketing? Comprising Christmas right before our “Who” eyes? Or is it propelling them to new heights in reaching this unique consumer base? Another mention by Adweek was the power of influencer marketing: the Kardashians, those Flat Tummy Instagram ads, YouTube makeup artists that flash the new Anastasia brow gel before expertly applying… influencer marketing!

It’s all about connecting the dots in what resonates with your desired audience to what they associate as a quality product and how companies utilize influence.

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