By Adelynne Chao, Founder at Untold Insights
A recent study by research consultancy Untold Insights involving 2,000 respondents across the US and UK has indicated that the behaviours, attitudes, and shopping preferences between Gen Z and Millennials are not as different as what is often portrayed in the media. In fact, both groups display very similar consumption patterns and preferences.
Both generations showed a marked preference for short, easily digestible video content such as Instagram Reels and TikTok. Daily video consumption was found to be consistent between the two generations, with 46% of respondents watching these platforms every day, and 66% engaging with them daily or every few days. There is already a massive opportunity for product discovery for new or small businesses with 21% of millennials and 14% of Gen Z audiences saying they often buy from brands they’ve never heard of before because of a social media recommendation. This indicates that Millennials are just as if not more reliant on social media as a source for shopping recommendations.
The study shows that both Gen Z and Millennials have a keen focus on wellness and upgrading their lifestyle habits, with social perception and image playing an important role in their lives. Specifically, fashion, makeup, dining, cooking, and fitness emerged as the top categories for which both groups use IG reels and TikTok as their primary source of information.
When it comes to the length of digital content, different types of media come with varying levels of attention spans. Data showed that entertainment/streams and live sports streaming have the highest tolerance for longer viewing, while advertisements and reviews have the shortest amount of time.
The research highlighted the preference for utility over brand, a trend more pronounced in the Millennial group. 75% of Millennials and 60% of Gen Z respondents agreed with the statement, “I have no problem switching brands if I think it’s going to be a better option for me.” Over 50% of both groups also indicated that they were happy to buy knock-off versions of brands rather than paying full price for the real brand.
Furthermore, ethical considerations play a pivotal role in brand engagement. A higher percentage of Millennials, compared to Gen Z, reported they would stop buying from a brand if they found it was unethical.
Adelynne Chao, Founder at the Untold Insights, comments on the findings: “Our research has highlighted the importance of understanding the nuanced behaviours of these influential generations. While there are differences, the similarities are striking and hold significant implications for businesses. These findings underscore the need for marketers to focus on authenticity, convenience, and socially conscious branding, as these factors greatly influence both Gen Z and Millennials’ consumer behaviours.”
The report concludes that while there may be subtle differences in the consumer habits of Gen Z and Millennials, these two generations exhibit many overlapping traits and interests. It encourages businesses to recognize these similarities to create marketing strategies that resonate with both generations, leading to greater success and growth in today’s ever-evolving marketplace.