THE POST 90S AND GEN Z GUIDE

DEMOGRAPHICS

Population: There are more than 210 million Chinese people in Gen Z who were born between 1995 and 2010. Gen Z accounts for 15% of China’s population. Sometimes, those born from 1990-1995 (Post-90s) are also called Millennials in China, which differs from the Western definition of those born between 1981 and 1996. Gen Zs and Post-90s, who grew up during a period of rapid social and economic development in China, are important groups that influenced the early development of the internet in China and are also the consumer backbone of new-generation FMCG brands in China. A lot of surveys show that Gen Z not only has strong consumption power but also high consumption willingness and strong recognition for high-end brands and international brands.

Born during China’s one-child policy: Gen Z and Post-90s like personalized services and products. They don’t want the same things as everyone else. As the most individualistic and expressive generation in China, they prefer goods that show their personality. They’re also interested in trying new products.

These consumption habits have been influenced by China’s family planning policies. Most of them are only children who had the full attention of their parents and other family members. They’re used to expressing their personality and individuality. With this stronger sense of self and, as a group that has many members moving from their teen years to adulthood, they engage in more niche consumption.

The lazy economy: Gen Z and Post-90s prefer simple lifestyles where they can get the things they need quickly and easily without much effort. This has resulted in the emergence of the “lazy economy.” Social networking tools, online shopping, food delivery apps, errand services and fast delivery systems cater to the “lazy” life.

Online entertainment relieves anxiety:The pandemic has caused anxiety among Gen Z and Post-90s. Many were confused and worried about their economic situation, career development and health. The internet has been an outlet to help them relax. 47.5% of Gen Z and Post-90s say the main reason they surf the internet is to kill time, relax and decompress. Watching videos, social media and shopping have become their main ways to chill out.

Education and occupation distribution: Post-90s and Gen Z are a highly educated group. At the older end of this age group, more than 90% have a bachelor’s degree or above. In terms of work, the younger generation prefer jobs in the media, tech and online work. 

Post-90s who’ve entered the workforce are also becoming more aware of personal financial management issues. They’re willing to spend and, unlike older generations, they aren’t as focused on building their savings. Most are willing to try a variety of new financial management methods, such as investing in stocks, funds and even Bitcoin .

CONSUMPTION PREFERENCES

Spontaneous and willing to experiment: 47% of China’s Gen Z prefer to buy products spontaneously while travelling, 5% points higher than Post-90s. Young Chinese consumers are also more willing to try new brands and products. As early adopters and promoters of new brands, they have a leading position as fashion, beauty, makeup, FMCG and entertainment consumers. Young consumers born after 1995 make up only 17% of China’s population but account for 25% of total spending on new brands

Willingness and ability to consume: Gen Z and Post-90s are more likely to believe that high-end brands can improve their personal image and trust international brands. 82% of young people have medium to high consumption intentions, and their actual consumption level is also worth paying attention to. In 2021, more than half of those born after 1995 spent an average of 1,000-3,000 yuan per month and nearly 20% spent more than 3,000 yuan per month.

Online platform preferences: Young people are more willing to get shopping related information from social media, and they have a preference for recommendation content and product evaluations created by KOLs/influencers. 

Gen Zs and Post-90s account for more than 70% users on major content platforms like Douyin, Weibo, Kuaishou and others. Bilibili and Red have the highest proportion of young users. On Bilibili, Gen Z and Post-90s learn gaming skills, read product reviews and keep up with the latest styles in fashion. On Red they read beauty, skin care and fashion content. 

Shopping channel preferences: Gen Z and Post-90s use a variety of online shopping channels. Post-90s have the highest stickiness on e-commerce platforms like Taobao, Tmall and JD followed by cross-border e-commerce platforms like Tmall Global, Kaola and Yangmatou, but they also pay attention to offline experiences. Gen Z and Post-90s are more likely to browse than place orders online. 63.9% of young people use e-commerce platforms every day while only 10% place online orders every day.

Consumer preferences: In terms of consumption motivations, most Gen Zs and Post-90s consider themselves to be practical and feel that they prize good value. They won’t buy things just to follow trends. Their main motivations for consumption are hobbies, entertainment and the need for growth. 67.7% of China’s young people spend money on their hobbies

Meanwhile, in terms of niche hobbies and interests, there are obvious differences between men and women. Boys are more interested in e-sports, secondary yuan and hand-made models and action figures while girls are more interested in beauty and cute pets.

Overspending and the “Moonlight Clan”: Younger Chinese people tend to spend their entire monthly salary. They’re also more willing to use credit or payment plans, with 28% of Post-90s overspending. In China, even college students without a credit history have access to financial products, enabling them to buy things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. These include Ant Financial’s Huabei (literally “spend whatever you want”) virtual credit card, which attracts a large number of people under the age of 25.

POPULAR CATEGORIES FOR POST 90S and GEN Z

Hobby-related consumption:

Trendy toys (hand-made models and action figures, blind boxes)

Chinese style/Guochao: original local fashion brands, Hanfu, Chinese online games

Idol-related consumption: Film and television app memberships, merch, albums.

Beauty:

The top 4 cosmetic procedures for consumption growth: hair transplants, skin treatments, collagen treatments, freckle removal. The top 10 cosmetics brands: Perfect Diary, MAC, Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Armani, Florasis, Givenchy, Maybelline, YSL, 3CE 

The home economy: Household Appliances: sandwich makers, electric lunch boxes, air fryers, electric ovens, plant-based protein foods, meal replacements, energy bars, sugar-free meal replacements 

WHY DO YOU NEED CHINESE MARKETING RESEARCH AND STRATEGY?

It’s never easy to enter a new market, especially when it requires understanding the sentiment of a new group of consumers and their communication channels. By working with our agency, we offer you the following benefits:

  • Helps you understand China’s post 90s and Gen Z
  • Helps you understand your competitors targeting China’s young population
  • Helps you to determine the positioning of your products and plan digital marketing and ecommerce strategies
  • Helps you align your offerings more accurately with the expectations of Chinese customers

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING

Alarice helped us do comprehensive marketing research and create a strategy for China. The insights are extremely helpful and we are now ready to tackle China. Thanks Alarice team for the great work!

Kshitij Minglani
Co-Founder of Mindvalley Quests

Ashley, you’re living the Disney brand! Thanks for the amazingly insightful, high-energy and entertaining strategy workshops!

John Sinke
Director, Marketing at Hong Kong Disneyland

The number of room nights booked by Chinese clients has DOUBLED since November 2018. This is a great result! Our SMM and PR activities in China, run by Alarice, have been the major fuel behind this success. Thank you, Alarice team!

Anna Bolotskaya
Head of Marketing of the
Metropol Hotel

OUR RESEARCH AND STRATEGY METHODOLOGY

Our China marketing research and strategy team gives you a detailed framework that will allow you to start and grow your business in mainland China. Our methodology mix is tailored for each project. In order to identify target consumers and understand their demands and develop marketing strategy for your product in China, Alarice team will develop tailor-made proposal for your project and discuss each phase methodology with your team to guarantee results. You can find more information about or methodology approaches here.

Market Research
  1. Online Market Research
  2. Industry performance research
  3. Market sizing
  4. Competitors Benchmarking
  5.  Mystery Shopping
  6. Case Study
Brand Audit
  1. Brand SMM Audit
  2. E-commerce Audit
  3. SWOT Analysis
  4. Perceived USPs
  5. Value Perceived
Consumer Research
  1. Online Survey
  2. Consumer Panel
  3. Focus Groups
  4. In-depth interviews
  5. Offline intercepts
  6. Semantics ( usage differentiation )
  7. Social listening
  8. Ethnographic research
  9. Sentiment Analysis
  10. Sensory Analysis
  11. Consumer Journey Tracking
Strategy development
  1. Brand Positioning review
  2. Brand pricing strategy review
  3. Market channels strategy
  4. Content strategy
  5. SMM strategy
  6. KOL/Influencer strategy
  7. Roadmap timeline budget
  8. Seasonal events / campaigns
  9. Conversion funnel strategy

YOUR CHINA MARKETING TEAM

We have an unmatched ecosystem of services to help clients worldwide build their brand in China from 0 and enhance performance for those already in the market:

  • Chinese Social Media Account Set Up. Chinese social media account set up and verification are steps which seem easy to handle. However, for newcomers, it can be a challenging process, especially when interfaces are only in Chinese or the English version is very different. Our team will help you with the list of documents needed, account options and the rest of the verification process. We also do account migration, account mergers, integration and more.
  • Digital Brand Audit. We can do a full spectrum analysis of your digital marketing matrix and point out what’s effective, what’s hitting the mark, what’s missing and what needs urgent attention.
  • Chinese Social Media Marketing. With our understanding of China’s unique social media landscape, we’ll help to select the most suitable platforms for your services and products and turn them into effective marketing channels with creative content. Apart from China’s top social networks, WeChat and Weibo, we also work with niche Chinese social media platforms suitable for different industries.
  • KOL Marketing and Campaigns. Working with bloggers in China is very different from in most Western countries. In order to succeed in China, key opinion leader (KOL) marketing is not an option, it’s a necessity.
  • Chinese Brand and Product Naming. Choosing the right brand name for the China market is one of the most sensitive aspects of an entrance strategy. We help with  China brand name and slogan development.
  • Digital Online PR . We help with China PR strategy to get attention from users and visibility in the market.

As each project is unique, we also organize free consultations to discuss your projects and suggest solutions. Contact us and we’ll help you turn your business goals into real outcomes

FAQ

How much spending power do Gen Z have in China?

In 2020, the number of Generation Z in China was 260 million, and their spending reached 4 trillion yuan, accounting for about 13% of the country’s total household spending. As the income level and social status of the post-00s(2000-2010) and post-1995(1995-2005) generations rise, the consumption power of China’s younger generation will continue to steadily increase.

The opinions of peers are usually more convincing, Gen Z’s purchasing decisions are often influenced by KOLs/influences, and the majority of KOLs in China are Gen Z.Our KOL marketing services help you effectively reach Gen Z as your target audience, we offer creative strategy, content creation, event concept development, impact research and promotion, event management and much more.

 

For relevant brands, this is an opportunity market that cannot be missed. If you want to enter the Chinese elderly market from scratch, we provide local branding services, including brand and product naming, logo design,product guidelines and more.

What are the popular categories of Gen Z and Millennials?

Intelligent household appliances, health appliances, health care products, beauty cosmetics, medical beauty, pets, game consoles, earphones and so on are very popular categories for Gen Z. It mainly focuses on the consumption scenes of home, appearance management, health management, entertainment and leisure and so on.

GET IN TOUCH TO DISCUSS YOUR CHINA PROJECT

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