Message to brands from Gen Z: Multiculturalism matters

HIGH POINT — Younger consumers — who will be the major shopping influencers in the not-too-distant future — are noting that multicultural and diverse voices are impacting their buying preferences, including home furnishings.

A new study from Direct Digital Holdings finds that 81% of Gen Z and 72% of Millennials are making brand choices — including where to shop, what to buy and so on — based on these factors. In general, more than half (57%) of all consumers say multicultural people have a big influence on their brand preferences and choices.

The U.S. as a whole is becoming more diverse, the study notes, with 34% of Americans (based on the most recent census) identifying as a race or ethnicity other than white, and 8% identifying as LGBTQIA+.

Gen Z in particular is watching closely on who is included — and excluded — by brands and making decisions based on these moves.

“It doesn’t feel good (to them) to buy brands their friends can’t, or when other groups are not included,” said Esther Uduehi, assistant professor of marketing and international business, University of Washington, in Direct Digital’s report, “Cracking the Code: How Multicultural & Gen Z Reshape Mainstream Marketing.”

Looking specifically at product choices, the study found the influence of multicultural people spans a wide range of categories from clothing to restaurants to the home. It showed 69% of all respondents and 81% of Gen Z said multicultural people were a big influence on brand preferences and choices on how they style their home, including what furniture, lighting, décor and art they buy.

The study concludes that multicultural is becoming the general market and that marketers need to reflect this in how they present brands, with inclusive advertising and the like.

The survey, conducted by Horowitz Research, polled 2,311 people via an online poll in November 2023 along with 1,021 interviews among U.S. consumers ages 13 and older and an oversample of 1,290 Black, Hispanic/Latin and AAPI consumers.

See also:

  • Shoppers want 3D tools in-store and online, new study shows
  • Home décor shoppers embrace multiple channels

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