Thailand's Gen Z embraces sustainable practices
published : 12 Mar 2020 at 04:00
newspaper section: Business
Generation Z in Thailand are more entrepreneurial, more concerned with financial success and more open to diverse viewpoints than their counterparts in Western countries, says a study by Stamina Asia, a Bangkok-based research company.
The results of the “Meet the Zers” study found Thai Generation Z share most of the features with their contemporaries in the West: they also want to challenge the status quo in terms of values, environment, technology and relationship with brands.
For 35% of Thai respondents, sustainability is the main cause worth fighting for.
But there are some notable differences. Thai Zers are more entrepreneurial, more concerned with financial success, less dogmatic and more open to diverse points of view than their Western counterparts. Thai Zers are also more individualistic: 36% of them chose “Be yourself!” as the most important slogan.
Gen Z can be loosely defined as people born between 1995 and 2010. The generation shares one global trait: from early childhood its members have been living in the world of computers, mobile phones and social media. They are the first truly digital generation, who feel at home with new technology, online communication and constant connectivity.
They also actively contribute to further technological development, both by forming new demands and speeding up progress with their own innovations. This shift is a challenge for businesses that can only be converted into an opportunity through better understanding of how this generation consumes and perceives brands, said Stamina Asia.
“Understanding generations is an important element of understanding consumer behaviour — belonging to a particular generation is as important to one’s identity as belonging to a nation or gender,” said Pattama Jomsiriwattana, research director at Stamina Asia. “Generation shifts play a huge role in determining people’s preferences and behaviour, often to a greater extent than geographical of economic characteristics.”
But the process of understanding Zers is to a certain extent obstructed by powerful stereotypes. Global research on Gen Z often begins by contrasting it with the previous generation of millennials — the “me generation” with a focus on the self.
Gen Z is generally considered more idealistic, more confrontational, more principled; they are more conscious consumers concerned with ethical problems as well as issues of social and environmental justice.
The question Stamina Asia research aimed to answer was: to what extent are these assumptions applicable to Zers in Thailand?
“With our research on Gen X, Gen Y and now Gen Z, we cover about 75% of the Thai population,” Ms Pattama said. “These results allow marketers to challenge the way they address their branding and better understand the new generation of consumers.”