Generation Z is a demographic that has remained elusive for many brands. Born between 1995 and 2012, these consumers have grown up with the internet, social media, and influencers, and, by and large, they want different things from brands and businesses than older generations. According to research from payment provider Square, 57 per cent of Gen Z customers buy sustainably when possible, and are more likely to ‘cancel’ brands that don’t meet their ethical standards: one in five stopped su
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supporting a brand in the past year due to ethical or sustainable reasons.
One brand that has been embraced by Gen Z is Monday Haircare. Founded by Jamiee Lupton in 2020 in New Zealand, the eco-conscious haircare brand is available in 26 countries, and is likely to reach another 10 by the end of this year, thanks in large part to its success on TikTok.
“We know how to communicate with [Gen Z],” Lupton told Inside Retail.
“Technology is a huge part of our strategy, we’re always staying on trend, and at the forefront of trends – I think a lot of brands are just slow off the mark, and even when they’re trying to do it, there’s so much strategy that they’re looking at as to why and how to do certain things.”
According to Lupton, many brands fail to connect with Gen Z because they don’t understand what makes them tick, which is unsurprising, given the fact that few, if any, brands have people from that generation in decision-making roles.
Monday is “taking a different approach”, according to Lupton. The brand’s marketing manager, Madeline Youngman, is part of Gen Z and “lives and breathes TikTok.”
“She’s completely and utterly obsessed with it. There’s no tried and tested strategy, we’re just learning through osmosis, firing bullets and whatever works we put a cannonball behind it,” Lupton said.
A lot of brand’s advertising on TikTok is contrived: “It’s come straight out of a boardroom strategy meeting, and likely without any Gen Z people with a seat at the table,” Lupton said.
In contrast, Monday’s strategy, or lack thereof, allows it to jump on trends and react quickly to the changing nature of social advertising – something that is difficult to do with a more traditional advertising pipeline.
@mondayhaircare Have you found our three newest Dry Shampoo launches, ORIGINAL, BRUNETTE and VOLUME? We want to hear what you think! 📣 #mondayhaircare #beautytok #mondaydryshampoo #dryshampoo #getready #beforeandafter ♬ original sound – MONDAY Haircare
Accessibility is key
But it isn’t enough to simply know how to communicate with Gen Z: a brand’s product needs to be attractive to them, too. Monday initially started when Lupton noticed how busy supermarkets’ haircare aisles looked, and she strove to create something more modern – both in terms of the packaging, and the ethos.
“We’ve got very simple packaging, it’s all millennial pink, and unlike many traditional [haircare] brands we’re digital first,” Lupton explained.
“We’ve created a really luxurious look-and-feel to the brand, but made it accessible to everyone, not only in price, but in where it’s sold. You can buy Monday from supermarkets, or online.”
That accessibility was key to Monday’s early success, Lupton explained, as the brand launched almost concurrently with the first major Covid-19 lockdowns across Australia and New Zealand.
Being available online was an obvious advantage, but being stocked in supermarkets across New Zealand was a blessing in disguise, since supermarkets were one of the only places people were allowed to go.
Finally, being a new, trend-based hair care brand that was gaining popularity on social media at a time when customers were itching for something new to do, meant the brand did well almost immediately.
“Our initial KPI was to sell 12 bottles a week, and we sold 456 units in 12 hours,” Lupton said. “It was an incredible launch, we had a captive audience on social media.”