What to expect from the next generation of pet parents and what they expect from their groomers
Kit Reaux, GoodFriend
As the pet industry continues to grow, it's important for groomers to adapt to the changing needs of pet parents. Gen Z, the next generation of pet parents is already making their mark on the industry with their unique values and expectations. By understanding the key values that drive this generation, groomers and other pet providers can prepare their businesses to meet the unique needs of Gen Z pet parents.
Sustainable products and services
A 2021 Pew Research report found that Gen Z is overwhelmingly concerned about climate change with 76% of them saying that it’s one of their biggest societal concerns and 37% make it their number one concern. These concerns translate to Gen Z reading labels and making purchases that align with their values.
“There is a significant movement towards human-grade and eco-friendly products in the pet care space,” Kristen Guhde, Director of Product for GoodFriend explains, “With many traditional grooming products containing toxic chemicals and allergens, the pet care industry is transforming pet care products to meet the environmental challenges of our time as well as ensure our pets receive the same care we would provide humans.”
Greening your business for the next generation of pet parents is a profitable business model with a study showing them willing to pay up to 50% more for a sustainable item. Consider taking a look at the ingredients in your current products and switch to brands that are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free.
Authenticity and transparency
Uninterested in the photoshopped and picture-perfect marketing methods of the past, Gen Z seeks real connections and filter-free content that shows what a brand really represents.
Iluka Enright, Affiliate Marketing Manager for GoodFriend explains, “Gen Z grew up surrounded by the old-school marketing tactics favored by millennials — marketing strategies based on a lifestyle that was not only unrealistic, but unattainable for the vast majority. Then, paired with the rise of social media, an influx of real people, real stories, and real lives became prominent, forcing expectations to change and the need for transparency to develop.”
This shift is drastically changing the way that brands communicate with young consumers. High production campaigns and celebrity endorsements are being replaced with iphone videos from influencers and major companies like Victoria’s Secret losing market share to brands with more inclusive sizing and body-positive messaging. As tempting as it may be to only show your business at its best with crisp before and after photos and smiling faces, Gen Z consumers appreciate the honesty of showing a more full view of your experience.
“They want to see the person behind the brand, hear about their failure, and celebrate their success,” says Enright offering this advice to groomers, “Show the faces behind your brand or business, tell us where they came from and give your consumer something to connect with. It could be as simple as a family-run business or as trivial as the local groomer supporting the same sports team. Think how a consumer could connect or relate to you on a human level.”
As digital natives, Gen Z is the first generation to have 24/7 access to the internet, mobile devices and social media their entire lives making digital convenience a necessity. According to recent study, Gen Z shoppers view 62% more pages during a browsing session than other demographics
Recognizing the need for an all-in-one tool to connect pet pros with pet parents, GoodFriend supports this growing need for digital convenience by allowing users to find pet care providers online, get reviews, and book an appointment all in one place. This platform is a convenient way to connect with Gen Z pet parents and provide them with the digital functionality they crave while streamlining processes for pet care providers like groomers.
A new breed of pet parent
While Millennials and Gen X still make up the largest percentage of pet parents, Gen Z and their unique needs won’t be far behind. Now is the time for groomers and other pet providers to shift their operations to appeal to this new breed of pet parent with socially conscious products and services, transparent messaging, and a strong digital presence with a focus on convenience.