Gen Z Shoppers Highly Consider Influencer Opinions When Purchasing – What Does This Mean for Brands

Forget celebrity endorsements and cheesy commercials. Gen Z, the generation born between 1997 and 2012, values the opinions of the influencers on their phone screens more than anyone else, even friends and family, according to 5WPR’s 2024 Consumer Culture Report.

Beyond the hype

Sure, some Gen Z’ers might still swoon over an endorsement from a specific celebrity, but most crave authenticity. They connect with micro-influencers and niche creators who share their values, like sustainability or social justice. The kind of trust Gen Z craves comes from their favorite YouTuber actually using and loving a new jacket. 

They sniff out scripted endorsements like a bloodhound, so brands should forget about the forced smiles and cheesy lines. They want real experiences, honest reviews, and content that feels like they’re hanging out with a friend, not watching an ad.


Gen Z isn’t just buying stuff, they’re buying into a movement. They want brands that stand for something they care about. Influencers who champion those same values become trusted guides. Partnering with an influencer who just throws a product into a haul video won’t cut it. 

They need to genuinely believe in what a brand is doing and seamlessly integrate their products into their content and interactions. That’s how brands go from selling products to building a loyal community.


Gen Z grew up with the internet at their fingertips, so they’re digital detectives when it comes to spotting inauthenticity. Opaque Gen Z influencer partnerships and hidden sponsorships are a major turn-off. Be upfront and honest about sponsored content. Clear labeling is key. This builds trust and lets Gen Z make informed decisions based on genuine recommendations, not sneaky marketing tactics.


Influencer marketing strategies should be seen as a long-term friendship, not a one-off interaction. Gen Z values influencers who actively chat with their audience, answer comments, and join discussions. This two-way street fosters a sense of community and reinforces the influencer’s authenticity. Find partners who are genuinely passionate about the brand and can authentically showcase it within their content and interactions.

Common challenges

Finding the right influencer fit is crucial. Partnering with someone whose values and audience align with the brand is essential for building trust and ensuring authenticity. Forget about inauthenticity as any scripted content and misleading claims will have Gen Z running for the hills. 

Transparency is the best tool, which means disclosing sponsorships clearly, avoiding misleading claims, and focusing on building genuine relationships with influencers who share the brand’s values. By understanding the unique dynamics of trust and authenticity that shape Gen Z’s buying decisions, brands can unlock the true potential of influencer marketing strategies. 

It’s not about replicating old-school marketing tactics. It’s about building genuine connections, aligning with shared values, and fostering authentic engagement. Embrace these principles, and companies will be well on their way to becoming truly connected with Gen Z, building trust, and ultimately driving meaningful brand loyalty.