Gen Z is the largest global population demographic, with a total population of almost 2.5 billion. Despite roughly half of its population being ineligible to work due to their young age, this diverse group is quickly turning out to be the most complicated consumer base.
As the leaders of this new digital age, Gen Z is exceptionally socially motivated and strives to represent brands that feel authentic to their identities. Seeking to represent the core essence of their identities, they look to commercial brands to showcase people from their diverse backgrounds and champion social causes.
Authenticity is Key
Nothing is more important to a member of Gen Z than authenticity. Staying true to yourself on social media, in real life, and with the public – a.k.a “living your true self” – is a must.
Gen Z expects the same ideals from companies and brands. Companies that do not respect and represent, or at the very least accept, their identities are rarely successful at reaching Gen Z.
As a forward-thinking group, Gen Z is quick to look and attach themselves to future aspirations based on passion and purpose.
Social activism in the form of LGBTQ+ and abortion rights, as well as social justice, strive to bring balance to society and let their diverse group live and work free from oppression.
The rampant balkanization of identities due to Gen Z’s embrace of social media, leading to a wide spread of interests amongst this group, has brought a unique challenge to marketers.
Marketers can look to historical examples of successful 90s brands for messaging to modern young adults and teens because, in a large sense, those attitudes are echoed in youth culture today.
Intrinsically Motivated, Yet Collectively Driven
As iconoclasts of social causes, members of Gen Z work on the individual scale to drive social movements; this will undoubtedly affect future purchasing decisions.
Given that Gen Z is a group that rejects many social norms that are predicated on societal ideas embraced by their parents’ and grandparents’ generations, their individual identities are in flux.
They find solace in their precarious position in the world by forming global groups in-person and online, centered around social causes, socio-demographic factors, niche interests, fandoms, meme culture, political beliefs, and hobbies.
As tweens, teens, and young adults, Gen Z has a lot of transitioning to do in life as they join the workforce, start having serious relationships and having children.
Marketers should pay close attention to cultural trends and shouldn’t miss their opportunity because fads end more quickly in the digital age.
Seeing that Gen Z appreciates genuine content and marketing, marketers that hire Gen Z workers straight out of college will be successful.
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