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What Young New Zealand Consumers Want

Published 13 March 2015, from ManufacturingNZ

By Catherine Beard

Do you know what the next generation of young Kiwis want?  Ad agency JWT did some research to find out and I found the results fascinating (being at the "young" end of the baby boomer generation, how would I know?!).  I thought this important information for manufacturers, as we all need to focus on our end customer.  Even if you are supplying another business, you need to understand their end customer and what they value.

The slides below are well worth a read and I would highly recommend getting Jacqueline Smart at JWT to talk you though them if you are interested to hear more (jacqueline.smart@jwt.com).

Jacqueline says they discovered bigger shifts in attitude (focus is on 25-35 year olds) in this research than they have in past work. She referred to 6 major themes, which I summarise below –but also check out the slide deck below.

1.  New Zealand is a concept – not a location.  We have lost our insecurities and have a new-found confidence.  You don't need to be living here to be a Kiwi – you take your "Kiwiness" with you when you travel/live overseas.

Brands that are best practice in what they do and how they do it get our attention. "Made in NZ" brand is a bit jingoistic – you need to be the best at what you do, being made in NZ is not enough. We can be, and are, global citizens.

2.  Living off the spreadsheet, not the land.  What is the Kiwi dream now?  Not many have close connections to the land anymore and the dream of home ownership seems out of reach.  They don't have such a well chartered future so they are pragmatic about the need to make a living and the need for a strong economy to create jobs.  Where previous generations went overseas on the "big OE" to have experiences, they are going for work.  They're not idealistic or nostalgic, and don't look too far forward.  They are giving up cherished brands to spend money on things that matter.  Budget brands when grocery shopping is fine.  Pragmatism is following on from tougher economic times.

3.  People matter more than the land.  You can judge a society by how it treats the most vulnerable. That means if you need to drill for oil for a better economy we should, but it needs to benefit all the people.  Cultural collectiveness – "we not I".  They like brands that stand up for people.  There is an indifference to wasteful marketing e.g. 100% Pure (when we are not).  Another example was a milk bottle that keeps out the sun.

4.  Determined is the new laid back

What they value is open mindedness, ethical behaviour, progressiveness, contribution, determination, making an effort.  What is your brand standing up for, being supportive of?  Being amateur, lazy, having low production values are not good.

Adverts will be rejected if they do not entertain, are cheap and formulaic.

Take a stand, be ethical.

5.  Interdependence – not DIY.

Crowd sourcing, crowd funding, interconnectedness, taking care of each other, pulling together.  You need to value your customers and don't "nickle and dime" them, e.g. acting like a bank and monetising services.

6.  Simple is Aspirational.  It used to be "work hard, play hard" for earlier generations – feels like hard work now, so simple things in life are valued.

Reliable, functional, honest, authentic, back to basics.

You can view the full slides here