Davinia Martín Critikián*
María Solano Altaba1
José Francisco Serrano Oceja1

1San Pablo CEU University. Spain

*Davinia Mart ín Critikián: Ph.D. in communication, and assistant professor from 2011 to 2017 at the International University of La Rioja and from 2017 to the present at the San Pablo CEU University.

A global crisis saw emerge the first generation of youngsters who were born, educated and socialized from the beginning using internet and social networks. The irruption into society of “Generation Z” (young people born between 1994 and 2010), has made it necessary to rethink how to capture their attention, as they are used to living in a world of immediacy, defend inclusion and diversity and are the key stakeholders of the collaborative economy. The present work analyzes the consumption habits of this generation, having as main objective to identify how influencers have contributed to these. The quantitative research that has been carried out has been a survey across 500 young Spaniards (ages of 10 and 25) during the last quarter of 2020. The results obtained highlight the importance of influencers on the consumption habits of Generation Z. Thanks to this, brands try to establish business relationships with influencers, in order to better connect with their market and their audience. The objective of the brands is using influencers to transmit security, transparency and trust about the different products or services they offer.

KEY WORDS: Generation Z, Influencers, Consumer habits, Fashion, Social Networks, Society, Media

En plena crisis global, surge la primera generación de jóvenes que ha nacido, se ha educado y ha socializado desde su inicio con internet y las redes sociales. La irrupción en la sociedad de la generación Z, los jóvenes nacidos entre los años 1994 y 2010, ha hecho que haya que replantearse como poder captar su atención, ya que son jóvenes que viven en una dinámica de inmediatez, defienden la inclusión y son protagonistas de la economía colaborativa y de la diversidad. El presente trabajo analiza cuales son los hábitos de consumo de esta generación, teniendo como objetivo principal, analizar como los influencers han contribuido en los hábitos de consumo. La investigación que se ha llevado a cabo ha sido de carácter cuantitativo, empleando como técnica la encuesta. Esta se ha realizado en el último trimestre del 2020 a 500 jóvenes españoles con una edad comprendida entre los 10 y 25 años. Los resultados obtenidos resaltan que la importancia de los influencers sobre los hábitos de consumo de la Generación Z, gracias a esto, las marcas tratan de establecer relaciones comerciales con ellos con el fin de conectar mejor con su mercado y su público, para que los influencers transmitan seguridad, transparencia y confianza a cerca de los diferentes productos o servicios que ofrezcan.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Generación Z, Influencers, Hábitos de consumo, Moda, Redes Sociales, Sociedad, Medios

Em plena crise global, surge a primeira geração de jovens que nasceu, se educou e socializou desde seus começos com a internet e as redes sociais. A irrupção na sociedade da geração Z, os jovens nascidos entre os anos 1994 e 2010, tem feito que seja preciso pensar a forma de captar sua atenção, já que são jovens que vivem uma dinâmica de inmediatez, defendem a inclusão e são protagonistas da economia colaborativa e diversidade. O presente trabalho analisa quais são os hábitos de consumo desta geração, tendo como objetivo principal, analisar como os influencers  contribuíram nos hábitos de consumo. A pesquisa que foi feita foi de caráter quantitativo, empregando a técnica de questionários. Esta foi realizada no último trimestre do ano de 2020 a 500 jovens da Espanha, com idades entre os 10 e 25 anos.  Os resultados obtidos ressaltam a importância dos influencers sobre os hábitos de consumo da geração Z, em consequência, as marcas tentam estabelecer relações comerciais com eles com a finalidade de conectar melhor seu mercado e seu público, para que os influencers transmitam segurança, transparência e confiança sobre os diferentes produtos e serviços que oferecem.

PALAVRAS CHAVE: Geração Z, Influencers, Hábitos de consumo, Moda, Redes Sociais, Sociedade, Meios de comunicação

Davinia Martín Critikián. San Pablo CEU University. Spain
María Solano Altaba. San Pablo CEU University. Spain
José Francisco Serrano Oceja. San Pablo CEU University. Spain

Received: 29/05/2021
Accepted: 01/07/2021
Published: 03/01/2022

How to cite this article
Martín Critikián, D., Solano Altaba, M., y Serrano Oceja, J. F. (2022). Fashion consumption habits through influencers on Generation Z. Vivat Academia. Revista de Comunicación, 155, 39-68.

Translation by Paula González (Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Venezuela)


Those born between 1995 and 2010 are a generation born in an Internet context where screens and social networks are part of the day-to-day lives of the people around them, which is why they have learned from the beginning to interact with them and it has generated a certain dependence on them. This generation has a series of characteristics such as creativity and the ability to do several things at the same time or on different screens, which has led to an approach change in the world of digital marketing, as well as in content creators in social networks, which have high credibility for brands as prescribers. (Fernández, 2019).


The general objective of this research is to analyze what are the fashion consumption habits through influencers in Generation Z. To achieve this, a series of specific objectives are proposed, such as:

  1. Study the social context in which Generation Z is.
  2. Determine the consumption habits of those born between 1995 and 2010.
  3. Research how the role of influencers affects this generation.


To properly carry out the research and achieve the proposed objectives, on the one hand, documentary research has been carried out based on primary and secondary sources, analyzing and consulting different web pages, textbooks, journals, repositories, and doctoral theses. And on the other, quantitative research using as a tool, a survey answered by 500 young people.

3.1. Theoretical foundation

3.1.1. Social context

Numerous concepts can be introduced as valid when defining what the Information Society is since it will depend on the sources consulted:

Through the various definitions that we found on the subject, it can be observed that despite their brief variation between one and the other, they all coincide in the influence that technology has on the pillars of a new Society. However, this type of Society has been developing since the sixties, when the Industrial Society model was becoming obsolete in terms of economic keys to make way for the beginning of a society in which the processing and handling of Information take an important role regarding the control and optimization of industrial processes.
Many of the changes produced in the industrial structure and social relations are similar to those that previously modified social changes such as the Industrial Revolution when moving from a society with an essentially agrarian foundation to an industrialized society. However, there is a differential factor that is introduced with this new type of Information Society and is implicit in its name.
Previously, each person had their own stores of knowledge, which were always exchanged and carried out in a selective and rudimentary way. In this particular case, what is peculiar is the unlimited possibility of access to information generated by other beings, as well as by oneself.
The Information Society advances at a frantic pace and this advance means that the information to which we are exposed can overwhelm the user.
This is where criticisms of this new form of society begin to emerge because the continuous evolution causes infinite possibilities to be introduced. With all this, it must be taken into account that, despite not having a defined structure, given its versatility and constant change over time, the Information Society is configured in such a way that within its own “chaos” of information it can find meaning as a whole.
For the definition of the Information Society, we find different opinions and definitions, but all agree on the importance of new technologies for its development. The user, environment, media, and infrastructures have a fundamental role in all this, which will be common in all the positions adopted for the development of this Society.

3.1.2. Main elements of the information society

There are four elements or characteristics in which we can divide and break down the concept of the Information Society.

  1. Users
    By consumers or users, we must understand, according to article 1, paragraph 2 of the General Law 19-7-1984, no. 26/1984, for the Defense of Consumers and Users:
    For this law, consumers or users are the “natural or legal people who acquire, use, or enjoy as final recipients movable and immovable property, products, services, activities, or functions, whatever the public or private nature, individual or collective, of those who produce, facilitate, supply, or dispatch them”. (LGDCU, 1984)
    New Technologies, besides facilitating the acquisition of these new products and services related to them, offer a new space to users, the Internet, where they can find services and goods. However, for this purpose, people become patients of the Information Society, since we are leaving a trail of information that is easy to obtain and process.
  2. Environment
    In this case, we treat all those factors that influence both socially and economically in favor of the implementation of the Information Society. This can be culture, education, economics, or politics. It should be noted the importance that they will have in the future development of this type of Society
  3. Media
    It is the information, products, and services that we can access without having to go to a certain place. Within all of them, four groups are differentiated depending on the needs or benefits that they can offer. Tangible, intangible, services, or infomediation media.
    Those tangible and intangible will offer the same mission or function to the user since both will be the opposite of the other. This means that the intangible media will be those that provide the opportunity to obtain it for free, while the tangible ones will be those for which we must pay.
    Other media that we should highlight are those dedicated to services. They seek help and to solve any type of action that may facilitate their development thanks to them.
    Infomediation is the last type of media to highlight, it deals with those media by which we obtain information. We can obtain this information thanks to telecommunications structures, servers or equipment, and networks.
    The telecommunications infrastructures are going to be the technical media that make possible remote access to contents. These infrastructures are of vital importance for the growth of this society.
    Furthermore, the existence and development of mobile phones have made information available to the user at any time from practically anywhere. Additionally, the exchange of information between users is constant and instantaneous.
    1. Servers or Equipment: it is where content is stored at the source. They are both, part of the terminals and autonomous equipment exclusively dedicated to storing and containing all the information that is kept on the network; the information that leaves a mark on the part of the user.
    2. The networks: they distribute the contents and can be both of access or transport. This means that they can connect users with servers while transporting large amounts of information from one point of the planet to another. Both are connected, so it is not conceivable the use one without the other. In turn, the user is a fundamental part of the network as it will be the one that makes it possible for all the information to travel through these connections.

3.1.3. Knowledge society

The Knowledge Society establishes that society is characterized by a social and economic structure where work is replaced by knowledge. That is, knowledge replaces raw materials, labor, and capital as the most important source of productivity, growth.
Peter Drucker is the main author credited for the concept of the Knowledge Society as a post-modern society. Although, besides Drucker, this term is also attributed to some Japanese theorists. (Szabo, 2005)
Within these attributions, Drucker shows us a somewhat more structured explanation of the knowledge society, explaining its origin shortly after the end of the Second World War and with the successive ideological changes. (Drucker, 1996)
Bell (2001) made a detailed study on post-industrial society. This concept expressed the transition from an economy that produces products to an economy based on services and whose professional structure is marked by the preference for a class of technically qualified professionals. Theoretical knowledge has become, according to this approach, the main source of innovation and the starting point of political and social programs. This type of society is oriented towards technological progress and technology evaluation and is characterized by the creation of new intellectual technology as the basis for decision-making processes. (Krüger, 2006)
Therefore, society becomes a type of scientific, academic, and service-centered society that stands against industrial society, characterized by experimental knowledge, the dominance of industrial sectors, manual activities, and the conflict between capital and labor.
However, as Krüger mentions, it is important to maintain a somewhat skeptical position regarding what the Knowledge Society represents because, by being such a general concept, its validity or exclusive use for the definition of a Society is somewhat up in the air.
The evolution of society over time is based on knowledge because without it there would be no possibility of evolution. With this, we must maintain our position from a less literal point of view as far as the Knowledge Society is concerned, to a more conceptual one about our reality. Otherwise, we would be assuming that we have reached the peak of knowledge, or we would even be denying the existence of knowledge in previous societies.
The Knowledge Society is, therefore, characterized by an outstanding use of information thanks to new technologies, which go beyond communication between people, creating new knowledge. This is produced by strong progress in innovation. (Cornellá, 1998)
As previously mentioned in the definition of the Information Society, users handle abundant information that today is overwhelming. It is in this phase that these users must acquire new skills to be able to prosper in a world full of continuous changes. This affects education systems and labor markets.
Not all countries have the opportunity to access economies based on knowledge, and even in many of the advanced countries that do have this capacity, there are sectors of society where access to knowledge is a factor of exclusion.
The privatization of knowledge bases is a barrier to acquiring new knowledge, thus preventing human development. (Farnos, n.d.)

3.1.4. Immersion in the knowledge society

Throughout history, institutions dedicated exclusively to the dissemination and creation of knowledge have emerged. Knowledge has been a key element throughout history in the creation of the different societies that humans have developed.
As we have mentioned previously, there is no society without prior knowledge that can be applied to its development. Therefore, to advance from one society to another, the part of creation and innovation, inventing new knowledge and ideas that later materialize in products that produce economic development and well-being for society is essential. In short, we speak of Evolution.

We must take into account:

  1. Increase of Knowledge
    The central aspect of a point constituted by an unprecedented acceleration of the rate of creation and accumulation of knowledge. This is due to a strong intensity of scientific and technological progress that means that knowledge is reaching a frantic pace, where the multiple consequences and challenges, both economic and sociological, make progress arrive at a critical moment in their history.
    All of this aided by knowledge communities, networks of individuals, whose objective is to share and exchange knowledge for development. By carrying out these types of activities, these societies are transforming society. (Martínez et al., 2006)
  2. Intangible Capital
    “Growth Historians explain that natural resources and their abundance have lost much of their ability to explain productivity and growth disparities between countries. The improvement of the quality of the physical equipment and human capital represent, instead, a better explanation, that is, the creation of new knowledge and new ideas and their incorporation into the physical equipment and people." (OECD, 1999)
    This means that a large part of the intangible capital is made up of activities that make this new knowledge establish and settle in society. That is, this capital will be developed in training, instruction, R&D, investments, all of which will result in the production and transmission of knowledge, both previously used and recently acquired.
  3. Innovation as a Dominant Activity
    Innovation and progress are necessities for human beings because they are a way to survive and prosper in these societies of competitive and globalized economies. Society advances not only because a few groups of people who capture all the knowledge advance according to their interests, but society needs innovators, people who see progress as a necessity for human beings.
  4. Evolution in the instruments
    In this section, we deal with the aforementioned telecommunications infrastructures for the Information Society from a point of view that affects knowledge itself. Distinguishing the various types of repercussions of technologies on the creation of knowledge and that have constituted a powerful system of knowledge creation. For example, the creation of an abundance of information or the possibility of processing databases.

3.1.5. Characteristics of the knowledge society

After having analyzed the introduction and definition of what affects and on which the Knowledge Society is based, it is worth highlighting the main characteristics in which everything mentioned above could be summarized. They are:

  1. Conversion of Knowledge into a critical factor for productive and social development. This means that the development of society will not be understood without the development of knowledge. Therefore, it is essential that society, or part of it, has access to the information that will make the development of this knowledge possible.
  2. Strengthening of social learning processes as a means to ensure the social appropriation of knowledge and its transformation into useful results, where education plays the central role since it will make future generations capable of assimilating the concepts that this new society has materialized and, thus, be able to move forward. (Foray, 2002)

3.1.6. Main differences between both societies

The differences that we can find between both types of societies are nothing more than a difference of concepts. Today, we call all these social, economic, technological, and industrial changes in many ways, which can range from the Network Society, the Information Society, or the Knowledge Society itself.
What difference is there between the two concepts, then?
To try to explain, we will use a fragment of the article written by Karsten Krüguer in Revista bibliográfica de Geografía y Ciencias sociales (Geo documentary series) in which he says:

The notion of the ‘information society’ is used above all when dealing with technological aspects and their effects on economic growth and employment. This discussion has as its starting point the consideration that the production, reproduction, and distribution of information is the constitutive principle of today's societies. (Krüger, 1999)

But in the recent European discussion, both in the field of social sciences and in the political sphere, it is observed that this term is replaced by that of the Knowledge Society, which implies a conceptual change from information to knowledge, considering it as a structuring principle of modern society and highlighting its importance for today's society, for changes in the economic structure and labor markets, for education, and training.
Another alternative notion is that of the network society, a notion promoted by Castells. It is a concept that is situated between the Information Society and the Knowledge Society. Castells marks differences from the Information Society, distinguishing between information and informational. Information, that is, communication of knowledge, has been, according to Castells:

Fundamental in all societies (...) In contrast, the term informational indicates the attribute of a specific form of social organization in which the generation, processing, and transmission of information become the fundamental sources of productivity and power, due to the new technological conditions that arise in this historical period. (Castells, 2000)

It could be understood, therefore, that the Knowledge Society is a consequence of the Information Society because without the first of them the second would not exist, it would be reduced to a knowledge understood within another type of Society.
The difference between both concepts is practically non-existent because the Knowledge Society is a consequence of the Information Society (Castells, 2000). Although they are very close to each other, one of their main differences is the use of technology.
In the case of the Information Society, technology is a fundamental element, because without it this society, as defined, would not exist. However, for the Knowledge Society, the use of technologies is one more component for the advancement of knowledge but it is not the determining element of this society, which interprets and gives meaning to the abundant information collected.
The Knowledge Society manages to produce a change in Society far beyond what can be imagined. It includes a dimension of social, cultural, economic, political, and institutional transformation, as well as a more developmental perspective. On the contrary, the Information Society is related to the idea of innovation in technologies and the capture of information from users.
We, therefore, observe that it is one more evolution of society. Without evolution, without transformation in all areas of society, knowledge does not advance, does not develop its potential, and without the advancement of these elements and society itself, no new society would have been formed.
Acceptance of knowledge is necessary, its establishment in society to understand everything that is mentioned, and thus, be able to innovate and continue in the evolutionary process. This is not possible without a code that captures the knowledge for the easy understanding of those who are going to accept it.

3.1.7. Socialization processes

The human being lives in society, it is something innate and to which we are predestined at birth. However, to live with others this is not enough, but it is also necessary to learn all those knowledge and skills that are necessary. Training that allows us to adapt to the environment in which we are born is essential. This is what we know as socialization. (Ministry of Education, Social Policy, and Sports, n.d.) Definition of socialization

According to the Royal Spanish Academy, socialization is understood as “the action or effect of socializing”, understanding by socializing “transferring to the state, or another collective body, something of private property, especially a service or a means of production” or as a second meaning "to extend to the whole of society something previously limited to a few" (RAE, 2016)
Therefore, socialization is how we learn to adapt to a natural environment in certain circumstances for integration with other human beings. Learning makes us suitable for one environment or another and will help us not to be excluded by our peers, the society to which we adapt.
Socialization, therefore, consists of the acquisition of skills, beliefs, norms, and customs of the culture in which we live.
This knowledge is acquired gradually throughout our lives, hence the denomination of socialization as a learning process (Calderón, n.d). A learning process that will take several years to be able to be completed until the time comes when our body is not able to retain all the information that we would like or, rather, that it retains with greater slowness and imperfection than it did previously.
Therefore, it should be noted that there is no age limit for learning, although it is true that there are stages in which learning is greater than in others. The ability of an individual to learn in childhood is not the same as that of a 60-year-old person. Childhood is the time when it seems that individuals are capable of acquiring the greatest knowledge capacity that human beings can store. For example, it is easier for a child to be able to adapt to communication in different languages than for an adult to do it (Maestre, n.d.). It is, as a consequence of this, that we can identify two types of socialization: primary socialization and secondary socialization. Primary and secondary socialization

As we have just mentioned, there are two types of socialization according to the stages of knowledge learning or assimilation of concepts in which we find ourselves. (Villegas, 2010)

  1. Primary Socialization
    It is the most important of the stages of socialization since it introduces the subject to society. In their first years of life, they will acquire certain patterns and customs of the social group to which they are most attached.
    These agents or social groups are usually the families in their first years of life, with which the individual becomes a social being. The individual assimilates the roles and attitudes of the people around them and with whom they identify. It is, without a doubt, the first step towards creating an identity.
    Socialization implies an internalization of roles. This process of learning the roles is carried out from a specific level to the general one. However, this socialization process is still more of an emotional act rather than a cognitive one.
    The comprehensive training of the person and their correct adaptation to the environment depends on the success of this learning process. An adequate environment is essential, otherwise, it can have irreversible consequences on the identity of the being that is trying to socialize, generating behaviors that society can reject, generating exclusion from it. (Prats, 2015)
  2. Secondary socialization
    It is that by which the individual learns other types of patterns and guidelines that they will internalize. In this case, we are talking about an evolution/modification of the basic learning that we talked about in the previous section.
    It is another elective for the development of their identity and in a more advanced state to primary socialization. However, it does not go against what has already been learned, but rather it tries to help it and add experiences that can develop a better behavior of the previous. (Villegas, 2010)
    These institutions will form the character of the person and will make their socialization focus more on some points than on others. It is perhaps the one that has the most to do with the subject we are dealing with about the Information Society and the Knowledge Society.

If the first socialization process has been effective, this second one will be a continuation of it. If the first socialization process has not been effective for different reasons, this second socialization process will be more complicated for the individual.

3.1.8. Agents

All those individuals who introduce another individual into society will be socialization agents. We are talking about people, groups, institutions, any element of the environment that is part of this process.
“When we desert the conscience, the commitment, the responsibility, and the love that the conception of a life of this “biological accident” entails, it results in orphanhood. Orphanhood understood as its most devastating aspect, leaves children without love, without reference, without emotional nourishment, without ethical guidance, without existential models, without spiritual nutrients. (Sinay, 2007)

With this text, we point to the first of the most important agents when it comes to actively and directly intervene in the socialization process. (Cerón, 2015)
Some of the agents that we indicate are:

  1. Family
    It is the first agent and one of the most important since it will be the one that can shape and include the individual in a decisive way for future socialization with the outside. It is practically the only contact they will have before entering school, socialization that will take a couple of years depending on the individual.
    Therefore, although families change according to cultures, they are always in charge of preparing the new individual for everything that in the future may happen once immersed in society.
    The mark that they will leave will be something practically indelible, so the family must become aware that what they do will have a direct impact on the subject during the rest of their existence.
    As mentioned in the previous section, the fact that a person at this stage has the support of family members or not will make the person contribute future benefits or problems to society as a whole.
  2. School
    Another of the fundamental examples taken for the definition of the secondary stage. It is important to mention that it is the institution expressly established for the training and education of new members of society. So, it not only reinforces the value provided by families but also develops new knowledge in the individual that will help their personal evolution.
    The individual must go to these types of specialized centers where they will be taught to handle certain specific elements that allow them to understand society from a certain point of view that will shape not only their personality but also the ability to handle the most advanced knowledge.
    In these centers, the individual will be in continuous learning, which results in a double socialization aspect, since they will not only begin to assimilate concepts of the various subjects they are taught but will also acquire different skills thanks to the contact with other individuals (teamwork, respect for rules, collaborations, etc.).
    In this case, it is important to mention the great help that this type of socialization agent creates for individuals since they are the ones that will make them go from a very precarious state to fairly advanced socialization, depending of course on the place where they are found and the area of the world in which this is taught (inequality already discussed above). (Villegas, 2010)
  3. Peers
    These individuals are essential for the development of socialization of a subject, as they will give them a totally different vision than what their relatives or the school can show them.
    The contact with other individuals through works, collaborations, and others was already mentioned in the school socialization agent. However, it is important to highlight the action of these individuals who can often influence even more than a family. (Villegas, 2010)
  4. The media
    They are also essential because they will have direct and continuous contact with the Information Society and the Knowledge Society. Although everything discussed is related, this is in direct connection with the individual.
    It's important to highlight, that we have previously treated these elements in a way that contact with individuals was emphasized. Despite this, we will now focus on the influence capacity that these agents/elements have on the socialization of the individual, whose mind is socially growing.
    It is important to be aware that technologies are an element that may harm the social capacity of any person, be it a child or an adult, who uses them.
    Nowadays, the socialization process is constantly evolving due to the possibilities provided by new technologies. Being able to communicate with any part of the world or the facility to acquire information of any kind influences the personal evolution of the individual.
    There is the possibility of capturing knowledge that until now the individual had no option. This is due, on the one hand, to the changes produced by new technologies and, on the other, to the evolution of communication worldwide, it is part of the globalization process.
    But not everything is good in this innovation in the socialization process, because information can be used by individuals with negative intentions and could provoke the internalization of irreversible behaviors in individuals.

3.1.9. Social changes

With the invention of computers, humanity was, for the first time, able to manufacture an interactive information carrier. Until then, humans were the only interactive information carriers, because they were capable of applying stored information to answer questions and solve problems. Relying on the most modern technology, now it is possible to industrially produce machines that will also have such interactive capability. Precisely for this reason, computing and communications technology constitute basic pillars of the Information Society (Gómez, 1999)

New technologies, such as the use of computers and information-carrying operating systems, are how the relationships that human beings have in this new society are changing.
"The Internet is not only a new media of information and communication but, together with other peripheral technological systems (multimedia, computer games, virtual reality, etc.), it configures a new social, electronic, telematics, digital, informational and network space, which could be called “third environment.” The third environment is superimposed on the other two, the countryside and the city (physis and polis), and generates profound transformations in human and social life.

3.1.10. The consumer as a content issuer

According to Sequeiros, Puente López, and Fernández in 2016, thanks to the emergence of collaborative and content websites such as wikis or blogs, people could become developers and generators of content, without the need for prior training in this regard.
This coming and going of information establishes digital culture allowing the internet to be part of daily life and for information and communication technologies to become tools to develop activities such as digital purchases and sales, (Guaña-Moya, et al. 2017). When analyzing global market trends, very important changes can be observed and identified in terms of consumer behavior, in how they access and consume the media. (Ponce 2018).

3.1.11. Consumer generations

According to Jiménez 2018, there are 4 types of clearly differentiated consumer generations. These are in chronological order:

  1. Baby Boomers, those born between 1945 and 1964.
  2. Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980.
  3. Millennials, born between 1981 and 1994.
  4. Generation Z, from 1995 to 2010.

The digital trends that are used the most frequently in each of the generations are; For baby boomers the preferred media are emails, television, as well as printed media. As for the most frequently used social networks in this generation, they are: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Second, for Generation X the media in which they mainly move are emails, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and radio. Third, for Millennials there is already a change compared to the two previous generations, since the media in which they are found are mainly digital, having as reference social networks Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Finally, Generation Z is found both on television and on social networks and the social networks preferred by them are YouTube, Tik Tok, and Instagram. Generation z and their consumption habits

This generation is the first to be fully born into an already widespread digital age. This has made it change its habits in digital media and shopping, compared to previous generations. To have a more detailed view of this generation, we are going to explain some relevant data.
According to Bloomberg, in 2019 this generation outnumbered the previous one, representing 32% of the world's population. Of this 32% of the total population, 74% spend their free time using more than one electronic device at the same time, which, in turn, is connected to the Internet. (Instituto de gestión empresarial, 2017). The average time they spend on their devices according to data of IAB 2020 is 90 minutes a day on average, which represents an increase of 20 minutes a day compared to the previous year.
While in all previous generations it was assumed that life would be better than that of the predecessors, for those of Generation Z they know that the options are somewhat more limited, which makes them have a more pragmatic and somewhat negative view of the world that surrounds them. Furthermore, in terms of consumption habits, 72% consider that "having new things" is overrated if needs are met. Being born in a time of crisis has made them acquire a higher social commitment than previous generations. Understanding what drives and motivates this generation will be key to the success of any communication strategy. (Adglow 2018)

3.1.12. Influencers

With the emergence of Generation Z, a series of content generators appear that stand out for arousing interest through social networks and in different groups. This influence is generated through their charisma, the image they represent, and the credibility of what they represent. These influencers express opinions about different products, services, using a language close to their target audience to communicate, which generates certain trust and manages to attract their attention to follow them. (Fernandez de Bordóns & Niño, 2021)
Influencers emerge to carry out more real and sincere communication to connect with the consumer. In 2021, they continue to be a reference, specifically for young people, as they pay more attention to the message prescribed by the influencer than to the brand’s message through a conventional advertisement. (Martin, 2021)
Because of this, brands try to establish commercial relationships with them to better connect with their market and their audience, so that influencers transmit security, transparency, and trust about the different products or services they offer. (Ponce, 2018)
According to H. Hatch (2012), in a study published by Harvard Business, there are 5 basic characteristics that influencers must meet to be successful. These characteristics are:

  1. Reach: the reach must go viral, reaching from the traditional media to the digital ones.
  2. Experience: share their experiences with all their followers.
  3. Credibility: they have to be transparent so that their audience trusts them.
  4. Congregation: having the ability to mobilize users.
  5. Trust: generating trust and familiarity with their users so that they feel closer and that they are part of their life.

3.1.13. Influencer marketing

Nowadays, one of the most used marketing strategies is influencer marketing because users trust the opinions of other users (known or not) more than traditional advertising campaigns.
Social networks are the place of leisure and entertainment of the last generations, as we have commented in previous points, therefore, these platforms will be key when defining a marketing strategy and, thus, increase or improve the engagement that a brand or product receives. In this sense, the generated content will have to be authentic, truthful, and personalized. (Gonzalez-Carrion & Aguaded, 2020).
A fashion influencer is more likely to connect with a Gen Z follower if they show how a dress fits them while they go out to party, or talk about a personal experience while styling their hair using specific hair products, as this generation places much more emphasis on the experiences they see through social networks. Strategies of this nature could lead to broad loyalty in this market segment, forging a strong connection with these consumers. (Zuckerman, 2019)
The role of influencers is constantly growing and changing as more Gen Z and Millennials use social networks for purposes other than communication. The main functionalities and interests for women are beauty, fashion, food, and travel, while for men are games, sports, food, and travel, according to the 2019 influencers report.
Now, communication is dominated by presenteeism and by the ephemeral (reels, instastories, lives...). Fashion marketing has evolved in the digital realm to the point that the production and sale of products are conceived to be instagrammable, from campaigns to fashion shows and designs. (Velasco, 2021)
More and more brands understand the benefits of influencer marketing and take advantage of this outlet to their advantage. As today's youth digitally surround themselves with influencers to learn about various topics and products, marketing professionals need to fortify their social media strategies with the right influencer partnerships if they hope to effectively reach the next generation of consumers.
The success of this type of marketing has become an essential strategy for some companies because, besides generating sales, it also produces greater proximity and credibility with the brand. And as Adglow says, brands’ main objectives are: achieve reach (36.8%), video views (30.7%), obtain clicks on the links of their ads (18.9%), engagement (10%), and conversions (1.80%).
Even so, according to data from the 2020 IAB, the influence following this year has decreased compared to the previous year, with Instagram being the social network in which influencers are followed the most, as we can see in Graph 1.

Source: self-made

Photo 1. Percentage of Internet users who follow influencers on social networks in Spain in 2020

3.2. Field study

The analyzed survey has been based on a type of qualitative research carried out through Google Forms, shared through Instagram and WhatsApp to young people belonging to Generation Z between November 21st and 24th, 2020.
The research has focused on fashion consumption habits through communication trends such as advertising on social networks and that carried out by figures such as influencers.
The target of the survey carried out has been Generation Z. This is made up of people between the ages of 10 and 25. As a result of the research, 500 responses have been collected, of which 77.6% have been provided by women and the rest by men. 43.6% of those surveyed are between 20 and 22 years old, 26.9% between 23 and 25 years old, 15.4% between 10 and 16 years old, and the rest between 17 and 19 years old.

3.2.1. Objectives

The main objective of the survey was to research the fashion consumption habits of young people between the ages of 10 and 25, taking into account the impact of the figure of influencers and their effectiveness.
To achieve a more complete analysis, besides understanding the mentality of Gen Z regarding preferences for tools in fashion advertising and their effectiveness, secondary objectives such as the media, content, tastes, and fashion brands preferred by consumers have been kept in mind.

3.2.2. Planning and design of the research

After making several models and various modifications to the survey to focus the subject, besides defining the objectives, the final survey emerged, which was validated by three experts in market research. The first questions asked are multi-answer to obtain data on consumers’ preferences. As the survey progresses, the questions begin to be more specific to seek justification for the actions of the respondents to finally reach the conclusions.
The survey is made up of several images to make it more visually appealing. The responses are in different formats such as different choice grids, answer choice, default answer, short answer, or linear scale so that they are not repetitive and are more dynamic.

3.2.3. Analysis and interpretation of results

Taking into account the first graph, it is worth highlighting the preference of those surveyed for Instagram, with 90.4%, compared to other media when it comes to viewing fashion-related advertising. Both television and outdoor advertising occupy second place with 48.1% and YouTube occupies third place with 48.1%, followed by series/films with 32.1%. On the other hand, social networks such as email, Facebook have percentages below 2% of the total.

Source: self-made

Graph 1. Media preference for viewing fashion-related advertising

Most of the respondents justify that the aforementioned media are the most suitable for viewing fashion-related advertising because they are the most used daily, as well as being the most visual, direct, and attractive channels. Responses are repeated stating that advertising does not bother them on networks such as Instagram or YouTube, unlike in other media.
Taking into account the new tools of social networks, it is worth highlighting the last section of Instagram “store”. As can be seen in Graph 2, this turns out to be useful when buying products for most of the users of this app with a percentage of 52.3%. Furthermore, other tools of the networks such as Instastories and Reels in the case of Instagram or Tik Tok videos are more effective when it comes to advertising a brand. This is reflected in the following graph through the response of 56.4% of those surveyed.

Source: self-made

Graph 2. Preference for Tik Tok, Reels, and Instastories to see advertising

Regarding the content of the advertisement, it stands out with a great difference, the preference of consumers for short and original ads, which only show the product and the brand. Most of the consumers consider that the qualities, the price, the quality, and the brand of the product are the factors that the advertisement has to show. Emotional ads that convey the experience with the product are the second most selected with 17.2%.

Source: self-made

Photo 2. Other opinions

The data relating to the impact that influencers have on the consumption habits of social network users in Graph 3 clearly show that they influence most of them. 37.8% affirm that this is because influencers show all the characteristics and functionalities of the advertised products. 21.3% affirm that it is because they anticipate what is going to be in fashion. On the other hand, 17.3% of the remaining percentage admit that they do not trust their recommendations.
Referring to the positioning of brands in the fashion sector, it should be noted that as shown in graph 4, 93.6% of those surveyed affirm that they have discovered new brands thanks to the mentions or tags on influencers’ social networks. 54.2% of the total have a preference for advertising that is inspired by the looks of influencers, to recreate them with low-cost products. Famous brands such as Nike, Zara, Name the Brand, or Pull & Bear are the most mentioned by those surveyed, taking into account the fashion brands that they consider to carry out good advertising. Name the Brand, Pura Vida, and Noon are also mentioned, among others.

Source: self-made

Graph 3. Frequency of the influence of popular characters to buy

Source: self-made

Photo 3. Other opinions

Source: self-made

Graph 4. The number of brands known through influencers' social networks

Finally, after the analysis and interpretation of the results, it could be said that taking into account the situation and preferences of Generation Z, it is identified that both the brands related to fashion, as well as the advertising they carry out, should be more direct and shared in more media, taking Instagram as a reference to be more effective and encourage the purchase of products among young people between 10 and 25 years of age. Figures such as influencers allow the brand to display products as if they were a showcase. With which, the more that advertisement is shared in different profiles, the more times the product will be viewed by various potential consumers, achieving as a result the influence on their consumption habits.

3.2.4 Conclusions of the research

Instagram is the quintessential media for Gen Z when it comes to viewing fashion-related advertising, followed by Television/outdoor advertising and YouTube because they are practical, dynamic, direct, and visual channels.
Short videos like reels or Tik Toks and tools like Instagram “shop” are more effective for advertising fashion-related products because young people prefer short and original ads that showcase the brand.
Although Generation Z denies that social networks encourage their consumption of products, most admit to having bought products, as well as knowing brands related to fashion, due to the impact of influencers.
Influencers have power over the consumption habits of Generation Z because they show the functionalities of the products besides anticipating the products that are going to be fashionable.
Brands viewed in different media and profiles are more valued because their reputation and image is an important factor when it comes to positioning them in the minds of Gen Z consumers.


After conducting an exhaustive bibliographic review and the field research carried out on the consumption habits of Generation Z, they lead us to conclude that they are a global and social generation, that has lived through a national economic crisis and that is in the era of over-information. They are 100% digital native, multi-screen, and multi-tasking. It is a generation that spends an average of between 1 and 3 hours a day on social networks, which affects different areas of their lives, among which we can highlight their personal relationships (friends, family...) or their state of mind and self-esteem.
Taking into account the situation and preferences of Generation Z, it is identified that both brands related to fashion, as well as the advertising they carry out, must be more direct and shared in more media, having Instagram as a reference, to be more effective and promote the purchase of products among young people aged between 10 to 25 years.
Figures such as influencers allow the brand to display products as if in a showcase. With this, the more that ad is shared in different profiles, the more times the product will be viewed by various potential consumers, achieving as a result the influence on their consumption habits. Experience personification strategies could lead to broad loyalty in this market segment, forging a strong connection with these consumers.
Based on the presented data, the role of influencers is constantly changing as Gen Z uses social media for purposes other than communication. The main functionalities and interests for women are beauty, fashion, food, and travel, while for men are games, sports, food, and travel, according to the 2019 influencers report. Influencers have power over Generation Z's consumption habits because they show the functionalities of the products besides anticipating the products that are going to be fashionable.


As has been proven, this authentic, committed, digital, multiscreen, and multitasking generation does not rely on advertising through traditional media but rather prefers a person of flesh and blood with whom they feel identified.
Even though Generation Z identifies with influencers, in 2020, according to the IAB report, the efficiency of influencer marketing decreased by 41% compared to the results obtained the previous year, although the campaigns related to health care, food, and household consumer goods, gardening, sports, handicrafts or gambling games grew remarkably.
On the other hand, Bluemedia Studio reveals that big influencers (more than 50,000 followers) generate less interaction than nano-influencers (less than 10,000 followers) or micro-influencers (between 10,000 and 50,000 followers), reaching up to 40% of brand partnerships, which find a more trustworthy and loyal audience in these profiles. (Bluemedia Studio 2020)
Regarding the consumption habits of Generation Z, Instagram is the media par excellence when it comes to viewing fashion-related advertising, followed by Television/outdoor advertising and YouTube because they are practical, dynamic, direct, and visual channels.
Short videos like Reels or Tik Toks and tools like Instagram “store” are more effective for advertising fashion-related products because young people prefer short and original ads that showcase the brand. They are a generation whose priority is to enjoy rather than to have.
If something is characteristic of this generation, is its ability to share goods, services, knowledge, opinions, they no longer think of the "I" but, instead, sharing prevails. Therefore, they understand, support, and accept the collaborative economy in which they actively intervene, as consumers. (Lara 2017)


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Davinia Martín Critikián
Passionate about education, communication, and social networks, she has been working since 2017 as a lecturer at the San Pablo CEU University and from 2011 to 2017 at the International University of La Rioja. I have an interest in continuing to develop my research and teaching facet in which numerous book chapters have been published and I have participated in a pre-competitive project and a consolidated research group.
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María Solano Altaba
Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences of the San Pablo CEU University. A practicing journalist and a journalism doctor, she has focused her research lines on post-truth, fake news, media literacy among young people, and the transformations of journalistic and advertising routines in the digital environment.
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José Francisco Serrano Oceja
Doctor in Information Sciences, associate professor accredited by Aneca, he is the author of several books and fifty research articles on Journalism and Communication. His primary lines of research are transmedia rhetoric, specialized journalism, and information gnoseology. He is a Professor of several Master’s Degrees, he is a visiting scholar at various universities in Latin America.
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