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Brief Published: 7 Sep 2021

What Brands Need to Know About APAC Gen Z Consumers


As they age into early adulthood, Gen Z (born between 1996 and 2009) are growing in brand interest. But, as with any consumer group, there is diversity and variety across the globe. To help brands understand the attitudes and behaviours of this cohort in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, we decode findings from McCann’s latest Gen Z research.

With responses from 5,000 18-24-year-olds, spanning China, India, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea and Australia, the report helps to unveil the priorities of APAC’s Gen Z demographic.

  • Activist Generation: As we discuss in Reaching Eco Demographics, Gen Z is willing to align its purchasing power with its ethics. This is reflected in 69% of this generation globally agreeing that they’d pay more for a product from a brand that supports issues they care about. Asian Gen Z exceeds this proportion with 80% of Korean, 84% of Indonesian and 87% of Chinese consumers agreeing. While 74% of global Gen Zers also think their worldview has the power to influence brand behaviours for the better, this rises to a staggering 89% in APAC. Brands must be ready to meet the social, ethical and sustainable demands of this powerful cohort.
  • Cool Leaders: Some 60% of Gen Z consumers worldwide say they actively look for the “next cool thing”. However, this rises to 69% among APAC Gen Zers and reaches 84% (the highest reported) with young Thai consumers. Brands should be on the lookout for innovation and subcultural traits that capture Gen Z interest in this region.
  • Young Hustlers: Despite the pandemic-provoked global slowdown, Gen Z consumers are still feeling the pressure to be constantly busy. Among this generation in Hong Kong, 82% report feeling this tension. Help APAC Gen Zers wind down by integrating science-backed mental health advice in your product or platform. See Beyond Burnout for more.