Hint: Pricing Matters

During our recent What’s Hot, What’s Not GenZ Trends Panel, members were asked what brands can do to generate loyalty from today’s youthful consumers.

Before they can even get to loyalty, a brand has to ignite an emotional connection with a customer and gradually move them towards advocacy. And although it’s not easy to spark the connection in a future or casual fan, there are some things a brand can do that will move them along the journey toward devoted customer and even vocal advocate.

At a recent Adobe global marketing leadership conference, 16 year old Indiana WeRGenZ Think Tank member, Noah Laramore expressed disgust at what he and his peers perceived as being talked down to by brands. “Don’t advertise to us as if we NEED your brand.” His advice: “make us feel like you really WANT us !” Laramore told Adobe’s marketing team, “We don’t need you. In fact, you need us more than we need you.” His message; you’ll have to work to win us over because we have lots and lots of choices and we don’t give away our loyalty lightly.


“Don’t advertise to us as if we NEED your brand.” His advice: “make us feel like you really WANT us !” Click To Tweet

Elisha Cutter (22 yr old entrepreneur from North Carolina ) says the biggest way a brand can turn Generation Z off is to over-price products and services so teens can’t even aspire to them.

the biggest way a brand can turn Generation Z off is to over-price products and services so teens can’t even aspire to them Click To Tweet

Companies Need to Understand GenZ If They Want Brand Loyalty

Elisha: Putting big price tags on products making them way out of our reach is a real problem for her. But little things matter too. “We’re very observant people.

Humor works well to get our attention. GenZ will definitely be drawn to something funny. Humor has immense impact. The What’s Hot, What’s Not panel pointed to the The Saturday Night Live skits about the confirmation hearings into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Memes created around the skits circulated around the Internet and prompted lots of discussion on a very serious issue that had long term impact on the generation.

Humor works well to get our attention. GenZ will definitely be drawn to something funny. Humor has immense impact. Click To Tweet

Jyo Kavil (18 yr old college student from San Jose, California living in Albany, NY )

We definitely noticed the nuances and subtle detail of the SNL skits. All the drinking cups in the skits were alcohol-related not-so-subtly referencing his alleged excessive drinking in high school and college.

Harmoni Riggins (16 yr old high school Junior from Charlotte, NC ) lamented that few brands seem willing to take a stand on societal issues important to her generation.

From her perspective, most brands stay in their own closed bubble. “When brands step out of that bubble, I become a fan. It’s obvious when brands attempt to reach out to different generations in different ways. Taking that risk is cool! Harmoni sees that as a tactic sure to attention if not loyalty to a brand.

It’s obvious when brands attempt to reach out to different generations in different ways. Taking that risk is cool! Click To Tweet

Price and It’s Effect on Gen Z’s Brand Loyalty

Noah: “Price definitely makes a difference for me . I bought an Adidas fanny bag. It was an impulse buy at $40. But I wanted it. I liked the design, and functionality. If something is a good purchase, I’ll spend more. I bought the Adidas over others that cost 15, 20 and $30 because I liked the brand and its higher quality.”

Elisha: Price is definitely important. “I love Jordans and there’s a Lebron shoe that’s a high top velcro straps. That’s dope! A lot of our generation has Rheumatoid Arthritis which causes numbness in hands and feet. They can’t tie their shoes like other people, but they can wear those shoes and function better.” The problem is, they cost a lot of money!

Shoes are a real draw for young guys. “It’s common for young men to buy the shoes and sell them and double up the price so they can buy the next popular shoe that comes out. Our generation will spend less on clothes to be able to buy better shoes.”

“It’s common for young men to buy the shoes and sell them and double up the price so they can buy the next popular shoe that comes out. Our generation will spend less on clothes to be able to buy better shoes.” Click To Tweet

WeRGenZ: If a product is too expensive for you, would you save for it to get the brand you like?

Noah: It depends. I love Nintendo and when a switch came out, I wanted it. I actually got my first job to save for the switch because I wanted it so much. We will work towards things we want, unless it’s ridiculous.”

I love Nintendo and when a switch came out, I wanted it. I actually got my first job to save for the switch because I wanted it so much. We will work towards things we want, unless it's ridiculous. Click To Tweet

WeRGenZ: What is ridiculous to you?

Noah: “I will never be able to buy a $4 thousand dollar pair of shoes in size 12. That annoys me. They’re designed just for rich people.”

WeRGenZ: How long will you save for a product?

Elisha: “If I have to save for 2 months until I can buy it okay. But if it will take 2 years to save up, No!”

Jyo: “Brands need to price products so that I can see it as a possibility within the near future! Saving a couple of paychecks is ok. But if I have to save for 6 months- no way! It will probably be out of style by then anyway and just as expensive because everything comes out super, super fast.”

Brands need to price products so that I can see it as a possibility within the near future! Saving a couple of paychecks is ok. But if I have to save for 6 months- no way! It will probably be out of style by then anyway and just as… Click To Tweet

Harmoni: “For me, it depends on how expensive it is. If it’s too much, or if the product isn’t that important to me- then no. Even if I like the brand or product, I’ll go somewhere else to find a more reasonable. I’ll save up if the product is reasonable. If the price is too high, I’ll go somewhere else.”

Elisha: “You know what I see all the time? When one brand sees another brand that is really expensive. They copy the product then price it more reasonably so people can buy (their version). Steve Madden made a replica of Balenciaga sockwarmer sneakers and a lot of people bought them because, they’re inexpensive and would be in style for that specific season.

I used to work at Steve Madden and a lot of customers would come from Saks Fifth Avenue. After seeing the price of the Balenciaga they would come straight to Steve Madden to get replicas just to save money.

Noah: The same thing happened at Champs where customers came searching for the Balenciago knockoff. PUMA also had a shoe that had the Balenciaga silhouette. It looks a little cheaper and the logo is gone, but I would much rather give my money to Puma than to Balenciaga.”

WeRGenZ: What will make you dislike a brand?

Noah: “When they always price products so that they’re unreachable. I can’t shell out two thousand dollars for pants, a shirt and shoes. When brands repeatedly come out with unaffordable stuff, they’re catering to rich people who are always catered too anyway. That’s when I move on.”

When they always price products so that they’re unreachable. I can’t shell out two thousand dollars for pants, a shirt and shoes. When brands repeatedly come out with unaffordable stuff, they’re catering to rich people who are… Click To Tweet

Jyo: “When it’s obvious that a brand doesn’t care about us. If the brand just focuses on its bottom line, they’re cancelled!”

We would love to hear your opinion. Share your comments below about what turns you towards or away from a brand and why.

If you represent a brand, or media, or a teen yourself and would like to learn more about WeRGenZ and our original research with real teens CONTACT US: AskUs@WeRGenZ.com or call Kathleen Hessert at 704-906-3600

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Other posts you may like: My GenZ Adventure at Adobe Summit: Listening and the Unpredictable, Priceless Value of Shared Experience Making