One of the greatest challenges for brands in the financial space is developing products for the Gen Y and Gen Z market. As a generation, many of the people who make up this market have a significantly different mindset to money, saving and superannuation, meaning the types of products, marketing and branding that has served the financial industry well for decades does not engage with this new and increasingly important market.
The Entrepreneurs program hosted by Jack Delosa and featured on Your Money recently sat down with Gen Y financial experts Jessica Ellerm and Nathan Tesla to discuss this emerging challenge for brands in the finance industry.
Jessica Ellerm, is CEO and Co-founder of Millennial Superannuation brand; Zuper, a business shaking up the $2.3 trillion superannuation industry using AI, impact investing and behavioral psychology. Ellern’s beleives like we do that values based brands will always resonate well with this market. She says that millennials are all about; “Connecting your values with what you invest in. A return isn’t just a dollar figure, it’s a return on the world we live in”. Whilst “a lot of naysayers say; ‘you can never get young people interested in superannuation’ but the reality is superannuation is money and people want choice and control over their money. And if you provide a very slick digital experience that takes them less than 60 seconds to sign up, they can find all their super, wherever it is… then they’re going to get engaged with it”.
When it comes to attitudes towards saving money, Ellerm believes; “We’re just sucked-into this mentally that we have to buy a house, that we have to stay in a job, and it’s kind of what society has expected of us. I think millennials and Gen Z are totally breaking those norms now”.
Nathan Tesla, Founder of millennial debit card; Wild Card has a similar view. Tesla believes; “That for a lot of people the dream of home ownership doesn’t really exist any more. It’s not even on our radar” he says. “If you’ve got $500 to your name and the average house in Sydney is $1 million, that’s a big bridge to cross. But I think people my age are saving, but I think they’re saving for different things. What I’ve seen is people saving a lot in cycles. They’ll save for a trip overseas. They’ll save three, four, five grand, they’ll spend it, they’ll come back and they’ll start again. So that saving muscle does exist, but we’re really focusing on different things, more about experiences than owning a house or a car. The problem is people don’t see the value in longer term savings. They’re saving for the trip at the end if the year, but they’re not thinking; ‘What happens if I lose my job?”.
As we’ve seen in other categories, the different perspective and philosophies of millennials towards money is a powerful force with the potential to disrupt the industry. Businesses and brands who truly understand this perspective and are able to build product offerings that align with the millennial mindset have the potential to become the new market leaders – just look at Netflix, Airbnb and Uber.
Dave is a founder of our agency as well as a number of other businesses including Etto Pasta Bars, a growing chain of fast casual restaurants aimed at the Millennial market. Dave has created brands across almost every conceivable category with a particular strength in hospitality, retail and brands for Gen Y and Gen Z.