It's all about purpose! - Gen Z is changing the communication culture of companies

Fatih-Kağan Taşkoparan

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What do Gen Z, boomers and millennials have in common? They are all represented in the market economy as founders of e-commerce companies. Nevertheless, there are major differences in the way companies communicate with the outside world. Gen Z in particular, i.e. those born between 1997 and 2012, have seen a significant change in their communication culture and business approach. We explain why "purpose" is now considered a decisive factor for online retailers and how new approaches are having a lasting impact on the structure of corporate communication to the outside world.

Gen Z and social media

Around 90 percent of young people between 14 and 24 use social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. The retailers and founders of Generation Z rely primarily on their presence and the generation of traffic on these channels. According to a Survey by the online platform GoDaddy around 76% of founders believe that social media is the most important factor for the success of a digital company. The fact that over a third of small and medium-sized companies now also use social media channels to build their brand and community and attribute their foundation and success to social media, among other things, underpins this trend.

It's all about purpose

The "purpose" factor, or the meaning and added value of the company, is now highly valued in the world of online retail. It is becoming increasingly clear that a clear positioning and strong opinion or a strong commitment to values on the part of the company is a decisive factor in attracting and retaining customers from these age groups. More and more brands and products are also focusing on sustainability and environmental protection in their production, while at the same time companies around the world are positioning themselves on social issues such as diversity and human rights. The Fair Trade seal for fair trade in compliance with certain social and economic criteria or the Green Button as a state seal for sustainable textiles are just a few examples of these initiatives. Another good example of a "purpose-oriented" online company is The Heart Company by Kristina Rasmussen represent. With the slogan "Love and kindness in a bottle", Kristina has made it her mission to present her beauty products and perfumes as a self-confidence booster for her customers, conveying timeless values such as positivity and kindness.

Generally speaking, the design of aesthetically appealing texts and graphics in social media channels is also given high priority, as these also play an important role in external corporate communication. It is very interesting to note that Gen Z, in particular, rates values and positioning higher than the economic success of the company. For the majority of young founders, the values and aesthetics of their social media presence are therefore more important than the output and performance of the company itself. This development must be taken seriously with a view to the near future of online retailers. Purpose, social added value and timeless concepts that you want to serve with your brand or product should play an important role in every e-commerce company's external communication.

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