Everything you need to know about Gen Z
Friday, August 31, 2018
While millennials have dominated headlines and infatuated marketers for years, they’re a bit old hat now. The oldest millennials are well into adulthood, age 37 and proud homeowners, while even the youngest millennials, age 22, have already graduated college.
Now, it’s time for them to step aside so that we can focus on the trendy, new generation — Gen Z. By 2020, in just two years, they’re predicted to become the largest generation of consumers, according to Fast Company.
Keep reading to learn who Gen Z is, what they’re like and how they communicate and shop.
Who They Are
Generation Z, or Gen Z for short, includes anyone born between 1997 and 2010. That means they range in age from 8 to 21.
Also, fun fact: Pew Research hasn’t officially acknowledged this generational name and is currently calling this generation "post-millennials." So, the name Gen Z could morph or change entirely in the coming years.
What They're Like
- Millennials were once considered the most racially and ethnically diverse population in the U.S., but Gen Z wears that crown now.
- The oldest member of Gen Z was 10 when the iPhone came out, so this generation grew up in a world of non-stop communication. Smartphones, Wi-Fi and social media were ubiquitous to them. So much so that the majority of Gen Z can’t remember a world without them.
- Only two-thirds of Generation Z (between the ages of 16 and 22) identify as exclusively heterosexual, according to 2018 Ipsos MORI research. That’s a 5 percent decrease from millennials.
This generation also has much more contact with people who don’t identify as a single gender. Researchers have dubbed them the generation that’s "beyond the binary."
- Gen Z middle and high school students are closer to their parents. 15 percent more Gen Zers talked to their mom once a week about an important issue compared to millennials, according to the same Ipsos MORI study.
How They Communicate
- Almost all teens (95 percent) have a smartphone or have access to one, found 2018 Pew Research.
- Roughly half of teens (45 percent) are online on a "near-constant basis," according to the same Pew study.
- Gen Z spends, on average, 10.6 hours a day (or 636 minutes) with digital media every day, according to 2018 Adobe research.
- They prefer to spend their social time on Snapchat, followed by YouTube and Instagram, according to 2018 Pew Research.
How They Shop
- Gen Z is significantly less likely to be interested in products marketed towards one gender.
- They’re less materialistic. Less than a third of Gen Z students felt the things they own said a lot about how well they’re doing.
That’s more than a 10 percent drop compared to those surveyed in 2007, according to 2018 Ipsos MORI research.
That could be why the typical teen brands, like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Aeropostale, are dropping rapidly in popularity, according to 2018 Engagement Labs research. Companies situated as status symbols may be out.
- More than a quarter of Gen Z students also said they avoided products because of the conditions under which they were produced, found that same Ipsos MORI study. Many of the brands teens talk about the most are also environmental sustainability, found the above Engagement Labs study.
- Gen Z prefers to walk, hop on a bike or buzz an Uber.
Teens are talking about car companies much, much less. Teen conversations about Chrysler dropped 64 percent, found Engagement Labs. Because of that, they seem to be gravitating towards convenience stores instead of department stores.
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