Gen Z vs Millennials: Interacting with Packaging

Millennials have knocked baby boomers out of the top spot to become the largest generation in the world. Generation Z, born in 1997 and later, is poised to become one of the world’s most prominent consumer groups by next year. Gen Z is aged 16 to 21, and they already spend an estimated $143 billion a year.

Not only are Millennials and Gen Z a considerable force behind a changing product world, but their purchase decisions are prompting manufacturers to change up their brands more often with exciting and unique packaging.

Of course, these demands place considerable challenges on brand owners as they work to stay ahead of the curve, beset by a generation attuned to instant gratification. By understanding these generations and their overall influence — and applying the right packaging solutions — companies can better keep up with the pace of change.

Below are some of the reasons why listening to your target audience is more critical than ever before.

Your commitment to sustainability needs to shine through

Not using sustainable packaging is a massive deal-breaker to Gen Z consumers.

You can show your commitment to sustainability through packaging by listing the materials or process used to produce the packaging and/or product and providing instructions on how it can be reused, recycled, or how to compost the packaging once they are finished with it. By using our Ready2Recycle packaging to target your audience, you’re actually killing two birds with one stone — appealing to Gen Z/Millennials and contributing to the circular economy!

Using Ready2Recycle PE/PE bags can make sure your brand speaks to Gen Z values. It can make your product and packaging more captivating and make it seem more high-quality while increasing your business’s transparency and accountability — wins all around.

As Millennials grab the environmentalism baton, their spending habits are expected to match their commitment to the planet. Millennials spend serious cash on sustainable products across all industries — from food and cleaning supplies to wellness products — companies are quickly introducing products that appeal to their desire to protect the environment.

Are you a reliable brand? Make sure you show it

Millennials feel a personal attachment to their preferred brands. They’re constantly seeking the latest products that spark excitement within them, whether it is a passion for hobbies, a commitment to health and fitness or sustainability.

Millennials are likely to purchase a product if it makes them feel special either through this personal connection or the idea of exclusivity. Limiting a product’s availability creates a unique purchase experience in which brands effectively satisfy Millennials’ apparent desire to have the latest, most outstanding and most exclusive products.

Gen Z is all about brand authenticity. It therefore comes down to how authentic your brand messaging is. If you know your audience and brand identity, stick to it.

When it comes to your packaging, make your artwork relatable and attractive to this generation, and you won’t go wrong.

Make your customers feel special

While consumer demands change constantly, Millennials gravitate toward customised packaging. The idea of customised packaging includes features that expand consumer engagement with the product and brand.

Customisation is becoming an expectation in packaging and not an extravagance. This trend has come about because this generation wants to input what they buy across all industries in every part of the world.

Gen Z takes personalisation to a new level, often called individualisation. While personalisation tailors consumer shopping experiences based on known customer segment preferences, individualisation is driven by consumers to provide customisable, singular shopping experiences.

Choose quality over quantity

While being cost proactive is an integral part of the decision-making process, Millennials are willing to pay more for high-quality products. Huge demand among Millennials for organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and natural products also steals these shoppers to higher-end brands. Since much of Gen Z don’t have full-time jobs yet, this generation places a high value on quality to make purchases worth their spend.

Gen Z prefers to buy from brands that sell high-quality products compared to mid-to lower-quality items. This way, they get more bang for their buck out of the product and save more time and money from buying replacements.

Are you using social media to your advantage?

Being on top of your social media game is essential when attempting to speak to your Millennials audience. For brand owners, social media tools provide essential avenues to connect with and engage consumers.

Meanwhile, Gen Z consumers may find social media channels incredibly convenient ways of communicating to and about the brands they choose. Packaging that includes QR codes right on the label gives consumers immediate access to a community that participates and purchases the exact products they do.

The digital age has also allowed brands to connect directly with consumers who participate in social media campaigns via hashtags and QR codes. These features are increasingly being placed directly on packaging to engage consumers and offer consumers an outlet to give brands feedback.

Both Millennials and Gen Z use Facebook and Twitter to connect with friends and family, find news and information and be entertained.

Shopping and your company branding go hand in hand with all these objectives, as Gen Z members constantly share their own purchasing experiences online and look to others for influence. The unboxing trend has become one of the most popular genres on YouTube. Unboxing users spotlight what makes brands packaging unique and part of the product experience, so a lot is to be learnt by watching 2-3 of these videos as part of your research.

Think about what makes your packaging shareable. It could be a clever copy or a beautiful graphic, or something interesting about your business or about how your packaging is recyclable/reusable.

The need for brands to be transparent is growing

Brands must be able to share far more detailed information than they’re used to. This unparalleled transparency level must go beyond advertising and mandatory disclosures for brands to succeed with the coveted millennial demographic.

When a brand offers complete transparency, Millennials are more often to be loyal to the brand, and when consumers switch to a brand in favour of increased transparency, they are likely to stay for the long haul.

Businesses have learnt that they must be transparent and accountable in their operations, including packaging. Adding text to packaging that explains where your packaging materials come from and what elements are considered sustainable is a way to demonstrate your transparency to Gen Z consumers.

Think about subscription boxes with labels featuring the user’s name or packaging printed with the name of the person who gifted the item.

All in all, Gen Z values, like transparency, individuality, sustainability, quality and minimalism, are characteristics that can help your business better serve all of your customers.

Millennials aren’t too different but making sure your packaging ticks all those boxes is where we come in – we can help you make your brands dreams come true and make your audience come back for more.

Overall, our experience in dealing with many brands with Millennials or Gen Z’s target audiences means that we can advise you best on which path to take, whether in terms of materials or features or even artwork.

If your brand is looking to invest in quality packaging, we will guide you through the entire print process. Providing recommendations along the way to improve efficiency, reduce costs and add untold value to the end product.

Contact us on +44 (0) 161 440 7302 or follow this link to complete our contact form.


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