How well do you know Generation Z?
What defines Generation Z?
Demographers consider members of Generation Z to be those age 19 and under. This generation has never lived in a world that relied solely on print newspapers for news, and board games for entertainment. On the other hand, they also haven’t lived in a world where racism and ethnocentrism run rampant.
Generation Z is nearly ready to enter the world of higher education, but they are drastically different than those who precede them, Millenials. According to the US Census, 1 in 4 Americans is 18 or under. That being said, Generation Z cannot be reached and engaged the same way that Millenials have been. In order to reach Generation Z, we need to understand who they are.
Common characteristics of Generation Z include…
- Technology Innate
While Millenials are viewed as being connected, Gen Z is often considered over-connected. Millenials typically use two “screens” at a time, such as watching television while simultaneously texting. On the other hand, it is not unusual to see Gen Z multitask using five different “screens” at once, such as TV, smartphone, laptop, desktop, and tablet1. While Millenials are tech-savvy, members of Generation Z are digital natives.
The modern marketer has been targeting this generation by ensuring their websites are optimized for mobile browsing. Marketers also organize multichannel strategies to ensure they are present and noticeable to Gen Z.
- Quick but Inattentive
Generation Z processes material faster than past generations, which means that they are able to understand new information and concepts faster than older generations. However they have an 8-second attention span, which leads them to absorb one piece of information and quickly move on to the next.
Generation Z’s attention span is very short compared to baby boomers, and even Millenials who have a 12-second attention span1.
Marketers try to grab Generation Z’s attention with campaigns that include eye-catching visuals. Punchy and quick campaigns are known to grab the attention of Gen Z.
- Cautious and Responsible
After witnessing parents and older siblings lose jobs during the great recession of the late 2000s, Gen Z is careful when it comes to finances. Online surveys taken by Gen Z show that they are becoming increasingly worried about debt from student loans. Additionally, they show concern about the status of the economy and job market2.
Gen Z is wary and realistic when purchasing products and they place high importance on values such as long-term reliability and safety3. They do their research before making a purchase, and search for products or services that are trustworthy and valuable.
After growing up in a period of economic instability, they look for “safe” purchases3.
- Open and Accepting
Generation Z is regarded as the most tolerant generation yet. They are open-minded and appreciative of different backgrounds, traditions and preferences.
A survey performed by The Intelligence Group shows that Gen Z interprets what gender means to them personally rather than focusing on traditional gender roles and norms. Sixty percent of respondents said they believe that gender lines have been blurred compared to in the past4.
As with every generation, Generation Z has distinct characteristics and behavioral traits that set them apart from the others. In order to interact and work with this new generation, we need to learn about them and understand who they are and how they think.
To learn more about Generation Z, check out the following articles: