Generation Z has our attention. This generation is now leaving school and flooding out into the world where they are making a lot of noise and demanding change. And that is good and, some might say, as it should be.
The difference between Generation Z and other generations that have flooded out into the world and made a lot of noise is that they seem to be more co-ordinated and seem to be concentrating on genuinely important issues.
Many leaders down the (recent) years have decried what we are doing to our planet, or at least not doing to help it survive. We must not, they cried, leave our children and grandchildren a world of pollution and global warming.
And we have and Generation Z is, rightly, pretty angry about it.
Some of the things that are worth taking into account before judging a generation on the old-fashioned basis that everyone is a socialist when they are 20, and most are capitalist when they are 40. Wunderman Thompson surveyed Generation Z and found some different and interesting things.
75% of them think their generation will change the world (didn’t we all)?
Business and investment-wise, there are more concrete insights into how they will behave, and therefore what they need from a brand.
- 65% of Generation Z think they are savers not spenders
- 85% believe that a brand should about something more than profit
- 60% believe that their choice of brand is an expression of who they are
- 73% of Generation Z want a brand that understands them.
What tips the argument in favour of this generation’s power is the tools they have at their disposal. They know social media and how to get enormous followings. They can get at and to the leaders of the world. Remember when Donald Trump tweeted that Greta Thunberg needed anger management when she was upset at his pathetic climate change initiatives. Then she waited until Donald Trump got upset with the election outcome before turning his tweet back on him and suggesting he should look into anger management himself. Never before has that level of access been available and never before have public figures been in the firing line of opinion.
Generation Z certainly has the potential to be more powerful than preceding generations and, if their buying power is funnelled into brands that behave responsibly (in several ways), then business will have to think carefully about how to address this up and coming market.