What is Generation Z all about?

 

 

Back in 2016, George Beall wrote about Generation Z for the Huffington Post. Actually, he compared Generation Zs with Millenials. Did he nail it? Does he provide insightful and useful information? I’ll consider it in this blog post which is also the first blog post I’ve ever written. Go me!

You can read Beall’s post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-beall/8-key-differences-between_b_12814200.html

Generation Z is not about zombies. Or is it?

 

Beall introduces us to Generation Z as follows:

 

Generation Z, as they have been coined, consist of those born in 1995 or later. This generation makes up 25.9% of the United States population, the largest percentage, and contribute $44 billion to the American economy. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the U.S. population, certainly worth paying attention to.

 
Fair enough.

 

Next, Beall suggests that he’s going give us a run-down on 8 marketing insights about Generation Z. In fact, he doesn’t. Or it didn’t speak to me and I’m a Generation Zer. But maybe I’m not as clever as he. After all, I’m still a high school student and he writes for the Huffington Post.

Beall glosses over Generation Zs as… 

Less Focused
Better Multi-Taskers
Impetuous Shoppers
Early Starters
Entrepreneurial
High Expectations
More Global

Maybe George knows something that I don’t know. Maybe, he doesn’t. After all, he is a student at the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but cred for Generation Z has more to do with the feels than the reputation, service and/or authority of institutions. That’s some free and valuable insight for you content creators.

Let’s take a look at George’s first point, Less Focused.

Today relevant is constantly being refined and Gen Z lives in a world of continuous updates. Gen Z processes information faster than other generations thanks to apps like Snapchat and Vine. Thus their attention spans might be significantly lower than Millennials.

Device updates are not driving the observable predicament of diminishing attention span, intellect and capacity for authentic relationships with other human beings. Devices, themselves, may make significant contribution to these supposedly challenges of attention. Digital and multi-media content also plays a role. To be sure, these are challenges which even post-traditional marketing and media will have to overcome if they are going to sell and market to, manipulate and monetize generation z.

More importantly, Generation Z is not really less focused. We are more focused on what is intuitionally and instinctively important to us. Acceptance, humor, games, sex, movies, tv, etc. More specifically, we are more focused on what is interesting and delightful to us than perhaps any other previous generation.

We are privileged narcissists, regardless of our color, gender, education and income (or lack thereof). That’s a stereotype that advertisers and marketers should analyze to win the generation z market. I am even tempted to say that we are borderline NPD. That’s why Pewdiepie makes 7 digits. Because he doesn’t get it. Nor do we. And that’s ok by us.

What we do know is that the cake is a lie. And that’s a gamer reference as much as it is a platitude of our skepticism. How do you matter to Generation Z will be a tireless endeavor as you try to keep up with our insatiable rate of consumption.

Oh yeah, political correctness is only interesting when it serves our selfish purpose. We don’t care about what bad things happen to other people as long as it isn’t happening to us. To be honest, I think most people feel this way regardless of their age, culture, etc. So, yo, disregard is the new golden rule and isn’t that what we all learned from the Lion King’s Circle of Life? That’s not ideology but it is just the reality of where we are.

Back to my point. Generation Z can focus. We can obsess. Do you know long much time and effort it takes to achieved rank play in a video game? Or binge watch all the seasons of a popular tv show in one long weekend? But can your entrainment keep us entertained, engaged, curious, synched with our peers, and feeling the feels at that level? Consistently? We’re burning through the available low culture content in a blink.

We should scare content creators and online strategists because your brand’s irrevelance is increasing at 48 FPS (frames per second). That’s why Disney put up with Pewdiepie for as long as they could get away with it. Mark Schaefer seems to agree with Stan Faryna on this point.

You can find Mark Schaefer’s blog here :

https://www.businessesgrow.com/

The article of which i speak here :
https://www.businessesgrow.com/2017/03/07/pewdiepie

Also feel free to check out Stan Faryna, he has some interesting stuff to say here .
How this whole NPD works out is worth a million dollars. Or Euro. You can email me if you want to buy my five page insight on how to speak to Generation Z through our various addictions. The proceeds will go to my college fund, a wicked web site and various charities.

 

In my next few blog posts, I’ll flush out the remainder of Beall’s points. Meanwhile, if you appreciated my effort here, I would be grateful for your likes, comments and shares for this post. Quid pro quo.

Did you like it?

Thank you and please make today count for us all. Even if it’s just sharing a stranger’s blog post with your peoples. Or buying a homeless person a 2 liter bottle of beer and a fat sandwich.

Veni, vidi, vici.
Liam deTroch

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10 thoughts on “What is Generation Z all about?

  1. Fantastic start to the Gen Z analysis!

    I believe Gen Z is a better social construct than the term “millenial”. 1995 marks the start of the dot com boom and the Internet becoming far more pervasive (and useful).

    As such, it makes sense that “less focused” marks this generation. Heck, we all struggle to avery the distractions and sift through the endless information. The thing to note is that baby boomers are retiring or passing away. That means Gen X and onward are making the world spin.

    What does this mean for marketers?

    What does it mean for our lifestyles?

    What does it mean for the future?

    There’s a wealth j of insights to tap into here. I think your assessment on value assessments is key. Younger generations are more in tune with feelings. Older generations are more about focusing on one thing and being really really good at that. The younger you are, the less likely it will be that you desire to become a career person.

    To be clear, it’s not to say that ambition is not there. Anyone whom has grown up with information tech after the 70s has a tendency to want to diversify their skill sets, explore, and experiment.

    These are generations who place a high value on the feels, passions, and ideas. It’s a stark contrast from the mostly industrial/tangible world from decades ago. It’s all about innovating and breaking the meta. I’m with that. 8)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a lot to process in your comment.
      Check out my next blog post and you’ll get some thoughtful answers.

      I appreciate and welcome the conversation you’ve started here.

      I’m looking forward to hearing from you again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m all about long form, Liam. You should know this about me by now. I like thoughtful discussions; after all, if I just said “great post”, how would we build upon that? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the shout out! You’re a quick learner and fast out of the gate. Keep on keeping on with that awesome sauce.

    Your insights into Generation Z are worthy of reflection by mad men and marketing pros interested in getting a young adult market in the bag. Self-generational self-awareness is something of a feat, a gift and a commodity. The ability to assess other generations is a greater feat. Hence, you have something you can sell.

    But do not forget to love in all that you do. Encourage, uplift and lead others to a better place. In their skin and under their feet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed!

      I think Liam can very well be the Deborah Tannen of the Generation Z topic. “You Just Don’t Understand Z” instead of “You Don’t Just Understand Me”. You heard it here first, folks – NO STEALING!

      Seriously, there’s something here. Marketers are desperately trying to figure out the younger generations and have been for a long time. Old suits at corporations are grasping at the last bits of hair they have left. Perhaps what is needed here is a handbook which provides the perspective from someone who can speak from the other side.

      This could be a neat format, too: point-counterpoint format with the old and youthful views on each core issue. If we can break down the differences in core values, motivations, personality archetypes, and communication/love languages.. Man, that would be gold!

      Of course, I must reiterate that it has to be handbook; that is, guidelines but not universal laws. This can be a great journey in self-discovery and better acceptance of others. 8)

      Liked by 1 person

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