Millennials are old news - it's time to meet Generation Z
19 April 2017 | Beth Crane

Generation Z is here: move over Millennials

The Millennial demographic is much-hyped, and much coveted, by marketeers. Millennials grew up surrounded by technological advancement and they’ve undoubtedly changed the way brands and consumers interact. But they’re already old news. Enter Generation Z.

Generation Z, the cohort following the Millennials, are currently still teenagers, born around the year 2000 and understand nothing other than a 24:7 connected world. They don’t remember a time when dial-up existed, they are wifi-warriors and digital addicts.

Enter Generation Z: Millennials are old news

What makes Generation Z tick?

Brands need to understand what’s important to this cohort in order to reboot their marketing tactics. Why? Because they represent $44 billion in buying power in the US alone and are already shaking up the retail environment. In an IBM study, 70% of Gen Zers said they influence their family’s buying decisions on furniture, household goods and food. And 56% said they’d want the instore shopping experience to be more fun so they stay entertained. Ready to embrace Generation Z?

Here are five characteristics of Gen Z you need to know about:

1. Gen Z is authentic

Generation Z wants the truth, not what you think they want to see/hear. 63% of this demographic prefer to see real-life people in adverts, versus 37% who favour those which feature celebrities. Plus, 70% are more interested in content with a realistic ending, rather than an improbably perfect outcome. Is this a backlash against the perfectly portrayed lives we see on the likes of Instagram? And the miracle health and beauty products that flood advertising channels? Being authentic is more important than being perfect.

2. Gen Z is impatient

Media multi-tasking, or using multiple screens at once, has become popular, sometimes even necessary over the past few years. However, it’s now estimated that Generation Z uses up to five screens at once – something older generations can’t even begin to get to grips with! But crucially, their attention span is short at only 8 seconds (down from 12 in the year 2000) and 60% wouldn’t use an app or website that is slow to load. So, Gen Z definitely won’t wait around if your message isn’t clear and easy to engage with.

Generation Z uses up to 5 screens at a time

3. Gen Z is ambitious

60% of Generation Z want to have an impact on the world, compared to 39% of Millennials. Millennials have been disillusioned by recession, a saturated job pool and an almost impenetrable housing market. Plus, over 25% still live in their family home. In contrast, Generation Z is open to alternatives to further education and entrepreneurial in spirit. They are risk-takers, being 55% more likely to want to start a business and hire others than Millennials.

4. Gen Z is visual

Generation Z is visual, preferring to communicate via emojis and photos than via text. How will your brand target a demographic who buy with their eyes? Many intend to target Generation Z via mixed, augmented and virtual reality – a sector that will see a $30 billion investment in the next three years. And some brands have already started. Makeup giant Sephora uses Snapchat-style filters to allow customers to ‘try on’ lipstick shades using a photo of their own face.

5. Gen Z is private

Generation Z  are, without hesitation, digital natives. But, their social media use is different to their predecessors. They’ve learnt from the Millennial mistakes of over-sharing to anyone and everyone. They’re more astute to the permanence of a tweet or social update, choosing to privately broadcast their lives to the people who matter on platforms such as Snapchat. Is your social strategy ready for this shift?

Want to talk about Generation Z? Our experienced team would be happy to chat about future-proofing your brand, in terms of SEO and of course, nailing social media.

Beth Crane

Beth Crane