While Generation Y has been in the picture for a long time, we might have forgotten there’s already another Generation on the market that creates a challenge for marketers to engage with: Gen Z. Unlike Gen Y, Gen Z are kids born into recession and never knew a world without the Internet. A new global study, entitled “A New Definition of Childhood by The Marketing Store Worldwide,” looks in detail at the habits and attitudes of children aged 6 to 12 years old from 12 countries. The overall findings from this study indicate that brands have to be more transparent, more authentic, and more open to negotiation than ever before in order to connect with Gen Z. They will also have to demonstrate value and purpose much more specifically than they have previously managed.
According to the study, Gen Z kids know more about the world and are more concerned about it at an earlier stage than previous generations. Since these children were born into a recession, they are for example well aware of the impact of the global recession, the shortage of money and the problem of unemployment. The fact that they are being accustomed to uncertainty and the lack of institutions or leaders they can count on, creates a new understanding of personal power, which will undoubtedly have an impact on their relationships with brands. Since Gen Z’s are more included in decision making in their own families nowadays and learn to negotiate at a younger age, brands will also have to become better negotiators. Moreover, factors like transparency and authenticity are perceived as very important characteristics a brand should possess.
Also the fact that Gen Z spend a great deal of their time online, should not be a surprise. Millenials were already described as “digital natives”, and Gen Z kids won’t perceive any difference. The amount of devices they use doesn’t change with age, it’s a matter of owning them personally.
A last remarkable finding of this study, is that this generation looks as if it will be led by the energy and optimism of children in emerging nations, like Brazil and China. These children lead the way in many of the study’s trends. They have access to more technology and get it earlier, they have pocket money and buying power, and they have a strong desire to get on in life, to travel, to learn, and to grasp opportunities.
So, connect with this empowered, negotiating and digital generation the way they want to and make your brand more successful!