Less well-known than Baby Boomers and Millennials yet hugely important when it comes to securing our future, Jaguar Land Rover is taking the lead in getting to know Generation Z.
Jaguar Land Rover colleagues from the Global Customer Insights team are running an in-depth and groundbreaking research programme that’s providing the business with some vital insights into the fresh opinions, buying habits and expectations of a potentially crucial and very different generation of mobility consumers.
Known as Generation Z, these young consumers were born between 1995 and 2015 and in 2020 they will already be putting $143bn into the economy and account for 40 per cent of global consumer spending. Many of them are already car buyers now.
Importantly, research conducted by Jaguar Land Rover and other leading brands shows this new generation thinks very differently to the far better-known Baby Boomers and Millennials. For example, Generation Z defines luxury in a very distinct way and also judges established, international brands using their own, unique criteria.
Senior Research Analyst Anne-Sophie Boettcher explains how the Generation Z research programme came into being:
“Our role is to make sure the voice of the customer is always heard throughout the business and as part of this we asked a range of consumers to design their ideal mode of mobility for the future and this included thinking about design, functionality and technology.”
“The most striking result was that the Generation Z participants had such an alternative outlook to everyone else in terms of what they wanted from a vehicle, how they would use it and what they saw as our brand strengths. Their opinions were so different we knew there was a clear, compelling business case to investigate things further.”
Global customer Insights developed a programme dedicated to getting to know Generation Z. A core group of 40 Generation Z contributors (aged 18-24) from key markets including Brazil, China, Germany, the USA and Saudi Arabia was formed and offered their thoughts with particular emphasis on what brands need to deliver in the future to be more relevant to them.
Jaguar Land Rover’s core objective of developing vehicles that contribute to a Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion and Zero Accidents future undoubtedly resonated with this inclusive and quite serious-minded generation.
However, the research also illustrated that Generation Z saw vehicles in much more practical terms with in-car technology being viewed as being there to support them and ensure that time spent travelling was never down-time.
In stark contrast to other generations they were less drawn to the idea of simply driving for pleasure and more focused on whether the vehicle was safe, reliable and could offer them more features beyond advanced engineering. Whether the brand behind the car was truly leading by example in terms of being environmentally ethical and socially inclusive was also viewed as a major factor in terms of a buying decision.
When this work with Jaguar Land Rover’s own Generation Z group was published by the Global Insights team key stakeholders from commercial, product strategy, corporate affairs, design and engineering felt it was essential to know even more.
“The response has been hugely impressive, I think the first research underlined that we had a great opportunity to meet a new type of customer” comments Anne-Sophie.
“This January we’re hosting another 40-strong Generation Z group here at Jaguar Land Rover and they will be joined by 40 leadership colleagues drawn from across the business who all want to know more and connect with them.”
“The objective is to learn first-hand what they think of us and what they want our brands, products and services to do for them. What we learn will be used by the business and on a practical level begin to inform our product development work and investment decisions.”
Generation Z seems set to have a huge influence on the automotive industry and manufacturers will need to quickly get in sync with their very different mindset; the good news is that Jaguar Land Rover is not sitting back and waiting for the answers.