Brands should exhibit transparency to capture Gen Z’s minds

By S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by TMR GRAPHIC

MALAYSIAN businesses today ought to be transparent and straight forward with their positioning, as Generation Z and millennials continuously demand openness from the brands they buy.

Cognizant Japan and APAC head Jayajyoti Sengupta said companies such as BigPay Malaysia are digitally reaching out to these young consumers and taking an extra step in building rapport with clear-cut messaging.

Sengupta said the digital-only bank has positioned itself with a forthright brand statement about how the time has arrived for banks to change the way they deal with consumers.

“Gen Z consumers crave to be understood and expect customised experiences based on their personal interests.

“At the same time, the majority of them think that companies ‘know too much’ about them, and they hold deep concerns about how their personal data is being used.

“To effectively market to this audience, brands must connect with them in a way that satisfies Gen Z’s need for instant information and two-way engagement,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

“It is done by delivering a strong promise that they can be relied upon to keep personal data safe.”

He added that most digital-based companies in Asia have shown a high degree of success among younger customers by taking a bolder and more candid approach.

Apart from being transparent, Sengupta said brands should also start exploring more creative spaces and a wider range of content channels to market their products and to project key messages.

In a survey done by Cognizant recently, it was noted that 35% of Gen Z will find user-generated content more credible than advertisements by companies in the next three to five years.

Sengupta highlighted that this leads the shift towards more peer-to-peer advocacy and influencer marketing.

“Brands must push their latest stories beyond news websites and also on to social media, in order to reach Gen Z, be at the top of their minds and to avoid getting left behind.

“This may seem like a daunting task, but it comes with exciting new opportunities for businesses in the Gen Z market,” he said.

He also added that with the rising spending power among consumers, Gen Z will continue to define for brands what they want and how they want it.

“Those with the vision and ability to deliver a customer experience that is digital, yet secure, personalised yet respectful of privacy, and creative yet authentic, will win Gen Z hearts and minds.

According to Cognizant, Gen Z are generally people from the age group of 22 and below, in which they have grown up in the digital world with instant information and 24/7 connectivity.

Spending more than eight hours a day online, it is completely normal for them to share their daily activities and exchanging personal data on social media. They are also generally more sceptical with a negative outlook on the impact of Internet on their future than the previous generations.