Just when you thought you had millennials all figured out, the next demographic is about to come online and make you reshape your thinking. How will Gen Z impact the world?
Maybe you think all the buzz about demographic groups, from baby boomers to millennials, is a bunch of hokum. Maybe you devour every word of information like it’s the meaning of life. No matter your personal stance, you are about to encounter a whole new range of clichés about the next demographic iteration—Generation Z.
Where to start? Well, who exactly makes up Generation Z? There’s not a clear-cut answer to that one yet. Those who dabble in demographics start this group anywhere from the early ‘90s to the mid-2000s. Your best bet is to assume that anyone under 19 at this moment is a part of Gen Z.
Next, there are at least one million more people in this group than their predecessors in Gen Y, so millennials shouldn’t get too comfortable being the center of marketers’ attention.
While it’s hard to make too many determinations about a group where some of them still require naptime, we’ve compiled some starting points for you to consider when contemplating how Gen Z will affect your business:
- They value privacy. The older end of Gen Z seems to have learned from Gen Y’s open embrace of social media and is opting to share their personal lives more discreetly.
- We see history; they see everyday life. Older generations see our nation’s first black president, but Generation Z members simply see the president. The same goes for same-sex couples, biracial friends and a whole host of other social issues that older generations may still be grappling with.
- Safe, sober and sensible could be their motto. As the offspring of Gen X mostly, Z’ers have been shaped by their parents’ quest to give them the safety and stability they felt they missed out on as latchkey kids during an economic downturn. Expect Gen Z to be pragmatic about life choices and pretty cautious in terms of their experimentation, etc.
- They expect immediacy. Gen Z demands their information fast, and they process it in almost a blink of the eye. Catching their attention requires few words and a big picture, but even harder may be holding their interest. Video, in particular, speaks to this generation, but it still has to tell a solid story.
- Gen Z parallels the Silent Generation. The group that comprises the grandparents or great-grandparents of this next generation, who came of age after World War II and the Great Depression, may actually share a lot of sensibilities. For instance, the Silent Generation was focused on having a solid career, they were cautious and they weren’t into risks.