Generation Z: finding a common language with the generation that will inherit the Earth

The customers of the future and how to build a business in order to attract them tomorrow discussed at an open lecture of Realnoe Vremya

Generation Z: finding a common language with the generation that will inherit the Earth Photo: Maksim Platonov

The annual open business lecture organized by the online newspaper Realnoe Vremya took place in Kazan on 26 September. The event has been held for the third time. This year the theme of the lecture was ''Customers of the future: how to build a business today to win tomorrow''. Director General of the holding Agrosila, Svetlana Barsukova, shared experience on creating competitive products. Evgeniya Shamis, the founder and CEO of the company Sherpa S Pro, told about who the Homelanders or Generation Z are and how to build a business with them. Director of interactive technologies studio ImCompany, Anastasia Aksyonova, told about consumer habits of the Generation Z. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Homelanders will be interested in safety and science

More than 150 people came to Riviera hotel hall in Kazan to participate in the conversation with experts about how to do business with Generation Z. Among them there were business owners, representatives of large business, officials. They had opportunity not only to learn about how to work with the customers of the future but also to ask questions and communicate with top managers of successful companies on the sidelines of the event.

The founder and CEO of the company Sherpa S Pro, Evgeniya Shamis, in the framework of the project ''RuGenerations — Generation Theory in Russia'' for 15 years has studied the features of generations of Russians. At the public lecture she elaborated on the values that are inherent in children with the birth date from 2004 to 2024.

''Every generation has their patterns of behavior that influence the decision making when buying. Generations are formed in the age from 0 to 10-12 years. At this time, the values are built up unconsciously, although in consequence affect the whole life and do not change,'' says Evgeniya Shamis.

For the first time the generational values are clearly manifested at the age of 18. By this time, the worldview of a person has formed. Several factors effect on occurrence of important meanings, one of them is large world events. For example, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 was significant for the generation Millennials, they were born in the years 1985-2003. Many young people saw a large part of this event live and felt their involvement in this. So, for them it was important to make the world better.

Evgeniya Shamis in the framework of the project ''RuGenerations — Generation Theory in Russia'' for 15 years has studied the features of generations of Russians

Besides, the generational values are influenced by parenting strategies, informational messages in society. We are talking about advertising, the media reports. Now major part of the banners advertises offers to take a mortgage, loans, tells about the new residential complexes. Based on this, Evgeniya Shamis comes to the conclusion that for the Homelanders, who are being formed now, it will be important a housing, to be economical and frugal.

''Today we see that live communication becomes valuable for the generation of Homelanders. They know that it is necessary to pay for it. We already take our children on different educational programmes, theatre performances, etc. Children realize that all this costs money, and that they are accustomed to this, it does not violate their worldview,'' says Evgeniya Shamis.

Homelanders spend much time under adult supervision. The children are not allowed to walk alone, even if the parents are at work, there is still a nanny or other adult near. Homelanders are children born from 2004 to 2024. It is important to remember that they came to the digital world. Already aged 1 or 2, these children have tablets. They hear a lot of talk about science, education. Homelanders do not want to buy diplomas, they are ready to invest efforts in learning.

''In the description of products of mass consumption the generation of Homelanders will be looking for a scientific justification and a good educational base. They won't trust bloggers like the generation Millennials. Most likely, we will see a new category of people — scientific bloggers, or to be precise, vloggers. The children of the generation Homelanders will make not only a video but also they will accompany it with a lot of text,'' explains Evgeniya Shamis.

The worldview of Homelanders allows to combine biological and technological worlds. For example, they are interested in what will happen if to combine a live cockroach with innovative technologies. It was what modern children from an educational course in Moscow were doing. Besides, for Homelanders safety will be important. They hear that schools are protected from terrorists, it is not safe to walk alone. For children all this is not a problem, it has become a familiar environment already.

''From the point of view of consumption, the Homelanders will be hypercritical to goods, they will read instructions to the end. This generation, in terms of consumer behavior, wants to have combined the different sources of information. They will not only study the pictures but read them. So, get ready to write quality texts, including scientific ones,'' says Evgeniya Shamis.

''In the description of products of mass consumption the generation of Homelanders will be looking for a scientific justification and a good educational base,'' says Shamis

Homelanders will be able to reduce the shortage in specialists in the agricultural sector

The changed attitudes of the consumer will affect the production of goods. Svetlana Barsukova, Director General of the holding company Agrosila, told how the company develops in the modern world. According to her, it is easier for a company to survive in the market being part of a large holding, as it traces the path of products from field to shop shelves.

''As for Agrosila, we grow crops ourselves, which then we use in the production of mixed fodder. We use mixed fodder when farming poultry and cattle. Large holdings that are engaged in the entire production cycle of food can be responsible for its quality. They know exactly what is used in the production of this food product,'' says Svetlana Barsukova.

The speaker spoke not only about demand but also about the situation in the industry. The Russian agriculture has been affected by the anti-Russian sanctions. Thus, the prices for animal feed derivatives have increased, such as foreign soybean meal. As an alternative, two years ago Agrosila introduced lupine into their crop rotation. It can be used in the production of feed for poultry.

In order to reduce production costs and offer the consumer a quality product at a reasonable and affordable price, the company complies with the terms of sowing seeds terms, introduced an intelligent system of agriculture. ''The company has electronic maps of fields. The maps show the contours of the fields, there is a reference to the cadastral number, and we see all the technological operations that have been performed on land for the last three years. This year we have started a big project on agriculture with the Kazan Federal University. The project will allow to optimize expenses on introduction of mineral and organic fertilizers,'' says Svetlana Barsukova.

The generation Homelanders is able to compensate the shortage in the agricultural sector because natural foods, safety of their cultivation will be important for them, stated Svetlana Barsukova

In her speech she drew attention to the fact that consumers have become more demanding for food products. However, this should not be considered a disadvantage because the manufacturer gets additional incentive for the development of its products. Evgeniya Shamis noted that the conversation about agriculture in the prospect of the generation Homelanders is very important.

The oncoming generation will be interested in cooking, they will cook themselves. Now TV shows about cooking are gaining popularity among teenagers and kids. The generation Homelanders is able to compensate the shortage in specialists the agricultural sector because natural foods, safety of their cultivation will be important for them, stated Svetlana Barsukova.

''The future consumer wants to wear t-shirts and jeans''

A person gets daily more than 5,000 messages in average. In a swift stream, all the messages are erased from the memory after a few seconds. It was the beginning of the speech of the founder and director of the studio of interactive technologies ImCompany, Anastasia Aksyonova. In her opinion, it is important to build a brand through an image. A successful brand is the brand of a ''dictator''. It ''makes'' to choose certain food, drinks, cars and other goods.

''The visual-verbal description of a brand, which we also call the matrix of the brand, does not appear from a word you come up with or a picture you post. We usually begin to tell about functions, ''here is a brand, it makes nice-looking underwear''. But what we really need to understand is what illusions, emotions a person should experience from an encounter with your product. Only at this juncture one can understand something because very often the packaging does not correspond to the product, or vice versa — you buy a beautiful package, open it, and there's not the same,'' explains Anastasia Aksyonova.

The expert shared with entrepreneurs with a simple exercise — to ''look into the future'' of a brand and imagine it in five years. Who will buy the product? What will the geography of sales? ''All this must be put in the brand today in order to be there in five years,'' said the founder and studio director of interactive technologies ImCompany.

''The brands of the class ''luxury'' are now forced to speak the youth language,'' states Anastasia Aksyonova

The future customers is the youth of today or the so-called Generation Z. It is useless to run ads on TV because they ''live'' in the Internet, because one of the channels of communication with them is the social networks.

The main thing for the growing generation is simplicity and comfort, that is why in their wardrobe there is no outfits and high heels. Girls like boys prefer jeans and t-shirts and are not looking for expensive brands. On the contrary, they intentionally cut tags from brand clothes. Therefore, the brands of the class ''luxury'' are now forced to speak the youth language.

''Here is an ad of fashion brands. See how fundamentally their positioning has changed over the past 4 years. If in 2013 the brand was about lux, modelity, everything was expensive, cold, distant. A model on ad was like telling, ''you are there, and I'm here because I'm wearing this brand.'' Now the brand is changing, it begins to play with teenagers, looking for different forms of communication. Why? Because it is their future consumer who just wants to wear t-shirts and jeans,'' says Anastasia Aksyonova.

Anastasia advises to follow the example of the expensive brands and now ''go'' to the Internet and speak in their language. Because it is the only way to cultivate customers of the future.

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By Ekaterina Gumarova, Kseniya Zharkova. Photo: Maksim Platonov