What is Gen Z all about?


You have probably heard the term ‘millennial‘, you were possible called a millennial yourself and you might, quite likely, have enough of it. Millennial generation, also known as Gen Y broadly describes everyone born between 1981 and 1996. They have now surpassed the previous generation in terms of numbers and spending power and are considered to be key target market for majority of the advertising industry. However, what brands seem to omit is building the relationships and raising awareness along Gen Z.

Gen Z, also knowns as also known as Centennials, post-Millennials, the iGeneration (iGen), Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Digital Natives, Founders and Plurals refers to everyone born after 1996 and before 2001. As their purchasing power grows, the spending and buying trends are significantly changing, replicating their needs and behavioural patterns.  And it is time for brands to understand what Gen Z is all about if they want to stay in the game.

Gen Z - InfographicWhat defines Gen Z?

Personal characteristics

  • Gen Z is more racially diverse which comes due to the fact that travelling and moving around is more accessible.
  • They come from less traditional families, with single parents and same-sex parents becoming a norm.
  • They surround themselves with people from various ethnic, religious and racial background. They will become more global in interactions and thinking.
  • Core freedoms Gen Z lives by:
    • Freedom of Expression
    • Freedom of Information
    • Freedom of Opportunity
    • Freedom to Belong

Behavioural characteristics

  • Entrepreneurship – They are more entrepreneurial with 72% of teens say they want to start a business someday.
  • Carefulness – They are also more risk-adverse and less confident about the current economical situation.
  • Short attention span – They have shorter attention span as they get easily distracted due to their use of multiple devices and being a mobile-first generation.
  • Multitasking – They multitask and are multi-screen users which means they’d use mobile, laptop and TV at the same time accessing information from different touch points and consuming it differently.
  • Individualistic – They appreciate their individuality and want unique experiences.
  • Digital Native – They are dependant on technology by being the first generation digital native. They don’t know what life without mobile phones looked like.
  • Online shoppers – They choose to shop online even more than shop in-stores.

Use of technology

  • Gen Z spend even more time on social media than millennials.
  • They use social media for entertainment more than for connecting with friends.
  • Gen Z are more cautious sharers – they share stuff that’s interesting and relevant.
  • Use of phones is more prominent than television when looking for entertainment.
  • They require access to information on-demand as that’s what technology enabled in their lives.
  • Gen Z tends to trust the advice of friends or even strangers more than brands or celebrities.
  • They use less social media platforms than millennials. YouTube is their favourite platform as they have grown up on it and the likes of PewDiePie. They also spend more time on social media platforms.
  • They choose Instagram and Snapchat (and Musical.ly) over Twitter and Facebook.
  • Social media is their key source of information.
  • They prefer visual content and they use emojis gifs and images to communicate

How to market to Gen Z:

  • Make it all about them. Gen Z look for personalised experiences and genuine communication so they won’t respond to a generic email blast.
  • Understand their values and communicate in the same language. Make sure your language is inclusive.
  • Reach them via social as that’s where they hang out the most. Make sure you are relevant and are not being intrusive as it will have a bad impact on your brand.
  • Be more creative with your content. Try including more interactive features in your communications, such as video, GIFs and photos. This is a visual generation so communicate with them in a way they like to be communicating in.
  • Get your influencer programmes in order. Influencer marketing is the best way to communicate with this audience. They’ve been brought up being exposed to YouTube influencers.
  • Loyalty is not important to them. They expect fast (if not instant) delivery and communication and if you cannot provide, they will move to another provider.

Read more about comprehensive marketing strategies here.

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