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News & Press: Industry

Meet Gen Z on Their Turf

Monday, May 13, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alyce Ryan
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After years of everything millennial taking center stage, the focus is shifting to a new generation: Gen Z. Made up of those born between 1996 and 2010, this generation will comprise 33% of the world’s population by 2020. While much has been said about the millennial spirit, “millennialism” isn’t just about millennials. It is a mindset that drives the expectations of Baby Boomers, Gen X, and millennials alike and even stretches to Gen Z. Age isn’t that relevant. Indeed we see enduring trends such as exploration and rediscovery, digital empowerment, convenience, mindfulness, and the desire to live well fueling the consumption of brands that appeal across a broad age spectrum. The question is, what sets Gen Z apart?

The following article explores what attitudes and expectations differentiate Gen Z and what premium means to them in our post-recession, post political-correctness era, along with strategies to engage this younger audience.

 

Braver more real brands

While millennials were born at a time when political correctness and “helicopter parenting” were very much de rigueur, by the time Gen Z hit the playground, a tougher, less cocooned, and secure post-recession reality had emerged. Pushed more by their parents, members of Gen Z are more resilient and self-relient. With technology at their fingertips, they don’t expect to be fed solutions, instead they expect to find them. Consequently, they are a lot more entrepreneurial, and when it comes to brands, they are much tougher critics.

For them, realness and imperfection are the new premium, as curated authenticity has become synonymous with airbrushed fakery. Those brands that have emerged in the past 18 months in fast-growing segments such as the flexitarian category have mostly been designed to appeal to the Gen Z spirit, and all have one thing in common: They cut through the fakery and blandness with their fiercly differentiated brand designs, often humourous tones of voice, and “out there” identities and campaigns. They stand for strongly differentiated values—they take a stance. Gen Z’s technological fluency and independence make them both fearless and mindful. They believe in taking a stance and expect brands to do the same.

 

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