Labels based on age like ‘millennial’ and ‘Gen Z’ are ‘unacceptable’

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Three-quarters (76 percent) said their tastes change every few months – with 51 percent claiming to be completely different people now to who they were pre-pandemic.

And those polled find it especially frustrating when brands make assumptions about customers purely because of their age – rather than their unique likes.

The research, commissioned by Adobe, found 50 percent expect businesses to only contact them with information relevant to their current interests – but two-thirds (68 percent) think brands are hit and miss in this respect.

And it’s argued that this highlights the need for companies to adopt technologies which help them engage with consumers based on their up-to-date interests – such as customer data platforms.

Professor Bobby Duffy, professor of public policy at Kings College London, teamed up with Adobe to provide their insights on the findings.

He said: “This study shows that generational labels are next to useless as a basis for delivering the targeted services or products that today’s consumer expects.

“We may enjoy similar cultural references to people who grew up at the same time as us.

“But fundamentally, people increasingly expect everyone – whether it’s their peers, policymakers, or brands they interact with – to recognise, understand, and respond to their individual behaviour and preferences in the moment.”

Of those polled, just one in ten (11 percent) said brands are successfully keeping up with their personal preferences – and communicating with them in relation to specific likes and interests.

The study, carried out through OnePoll, found tailored communications, like notifications that products they’ve expressed an interest in are in stock, are the type of correspondence they’re happiest to receive (44 percent).

In contrast, one in five (21 percent) are content to receive “one-off” communications sent to all customers – like VIP experience invites, or information about sales such as Black Friday discounts (21 percent).

Suzanne Steele, from Adobe, added: “The entire socio-cultural landscape is changing, and people will not accept being stereotyped or pigeonholed any more – especially by brands.

“Having the right data platform is critical to ensure brands really understand their customers.”

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