GEN Z is Driving a Shift in Consumer Behaviour

March 14, 2022

In this article Astute Ability Finance Group's Managing Director, Mhairi MacLeod delves into why businesses who want to remain relevant must ensure their products, services and offerings are positioned to attract and satisfy the needs of Gen Z consumers.

The years fly by and before you know it, you’ll be sitting opposite a client or a potential employee who never saw the nineties.

With the new generation slowly gearing up to enter the business environment, they’ll be bringing a vastly different set of perspectives, attitudes and principles, and those principles will guide their decision making and drive business direction for many years to come. Understanding these principles is quickly becoming vital to long-term industry players, especially in sectors which have remained largely unchanged for a long period of time.

According to Mhairi MacLeod, founder of Astute Ability Finance, Gen Z’s defining feature is that it is far less interested in pure price terms than its predecessors. Instead, Gen Z is more concerned about corporate social responsibility – it cares about sustainability, society and preserving the planet, and will certainly think twice about taking a cheap deal if the company behind it still dumps plastic into the ocean.

MacLeod says in light of Australia’s Banking Royal Commission the financial services industry needs to address the shifting consumer views, and embrace corporate social responsibility in order to ensure its future.

“We already know that Gen Z works very virtually, but the next generation is also looking for more corporate social responsibility when it comes to the people they deal with – both on a corporate level, and as part of their everyday transactions,” MacLeod told NZ Adviser.

“Gen Z are choosing who they wish to deal with for reasons other than price. They’re not necessarily as price sensitive as previous generations. Instead they're concerned about what a business is offering in regards to positive outcomes for both the planet and the community.”

Mhairi MacLeod

“Everyone right now finds themselves needing to be more responsible,” she explained. “The results of the Royal Commission mean we’re first and foremost looking for good customer outcomes, and we have to start looking at corporate social responsibility on all levels. Brokers are truly aware of it, and society is also aware of it – in that sense it’s nothing really new, but it’s never been highlighted or showcased quite like this before.”

MacLeod says the key to attracting talent and securing customers will increasingly depend on your role within the community. Things like the Living Wage Accreditation and the Rainbow Tick are just some of the programmes businesses are increasingly getting involved in, and making a tangible difference in employee treatment, inclusivity and community wellbeing will become more valuable across the board.

“We’re now having to demonstrate as an industry that we are doing the right thing, not only in our businesses but throughout the community. By embracing the importance of the link between corporate social responsibility and Gen Z, we can continue our growth. We can attract and retain top talent. And we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our customers.”


Astute Ability Finance Group, Managing Director, Mhairi Macleod is available for media comment and interviews. She can be contacted on 0414 436 837 or she can be reached by email.

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