You might have heard of Generation X, Boomers and Millennials but have you heard of Gen Z? If not you should keep reading. Because although they have been around for a couple of years Generation Z is still a mystery for many. Companies struggle to keep up with the newest trends that might attract this digitally savvy generation but there is still much more to find out and analyze about this ever-changing group of people. So what do you need to understand about the so-called Generation Z?
Pew Research Center in Washington D.C has categorized Generation Z as anyone born after 1997 but it´s a definition that might need a bit of clarification. What characterizes Gen Z? Certainly not only their age but also their ethnic and cultural diversity often being the second generation of migrants but also their way of living and viewing the world.
Well-educated and digital
Succeeding Millenials Generation Z has basically been born and bred with computers, pads and mobile phones and with constant access to the Internet and social media many Gen Zs see themselves as aware and responsible global citizens. They are more likely to stay in high school and strive for higher education like college. This combined with the fact that they have the financial support from their parents might explain that less Gen Zers are employed in their teens than in previous generations. Only around 18% of teens in Generation Z had a job between the age of 15 and 17 according to a study from 2018 conducted by Pew Research Center. Why work when you don’t have to?
Paradoxically enough they seem to have quite some time on their hands being constantly online on Snapchat, TikTok and other popular social media channels. This also makes them more prone to not only shop online but also look for information and recommendations on the web and many of them follow so-called influencers.
Generation Z value values
According to studies Gen Z´s value sincerity, justice and transparency and judge previous generations as materialistic and too individualistic. For Generation Z social change, family and community are positive things and many young Gen Zers engage in feminism, environmental activism and an alternative and a healthy way of living.
At the same time, Generation Z is known as the ”snowflake”-generation, a derogatory term describing an overly sensitive and easily offended generation that can’t handle criticism or opposing world views. This is reflected in today’s cancel culture but also the rate of mental illness and stress among this generation.
The impact of Generation Z
So why should you care about Generation Z? Well, every generation has it´s glory days and to put it simply Gen Z´s has just started. For one they are the most influential consumer group in the world spending billions every year. Soon they will also be a deciding factor in the coming political elections in several countries among them the US.
But the fact that this generation has been so digitally imprinted also makes them easy to reach. With that said getting their attention is a challenge with a narrow deadline. Besides sharing their values you also need to be flexible enough to adapt to new trends and opinions.
Among today’s Gen Zers you’ll find the Tik Tok star Charli D’amelio, the Youtuber David Dobrik and the artists Zendaya and Billie Eilish.