• Transform magazine
  • February 21, 2020

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Generation Z trusts brands over anything else, research shows

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Media agency UM’s research on trust in media and advertising has revealed that generation Z trusts brands but feels stereotyped by the media.

A quarter of the young people aged 18-24 UM surveyed has shown consistent faith in brands over government, the media, the Church, influencers and social platforms. Furthermore, the research indicates that most people aged 18-24 feel misunderstood and stereotyped in the media, which represent them as ‘self-obsessed, lazy, irresponsible, unintelligent and unambitious.’

In truth, according to UM’s research, the Gen Z includes more inquisitive and highly selective consumers of content, compared to their older peers.

For today’s brands, this might translate into braver campaigns directed at Gen Z with higher chances of failure – but the rewards may be worth the risk for those who dare in the right direction. Generation Z is made of fast and curious consumers, putting more trust in brands than the older counterparts. To catch the interest of this new range of end users, brands should aim to be as ‘adventurous’ and ‘tenacious’ as young people see themselves.

But they must also be careful not to fall into any clichés or stereotypes, which may lead to unwanted results and misunderstandings. When Monopoly for Millennials was released last November, for example, the company experienced a destructive post-release backlash from the same people it was trying to target. Millennials from across the world defined the new board game stereotypical and offensive, showing how a failure to understand younger generations can lead to unpleasant results.

UM’s research provides meaningful insights on how young people feel toward brands today. Understanding the needs and values of up and coming consumers is absolutely necessary in the construction of solid brand identities.