Generation Selfie, or Millennials, has been the great obsession for many brands for nearly a decade now. But that is slowly changing as Gen Z (those born between the mid-1990s and 2009) are becoming the newest marketing meat.Now that Gen Z is in their late teens and very early twenties, they both lean on their parents for financial support (52.24 percent are not employed and making money of their own) and support themselves (47.76 percent are employed and making money of their own). This duel dependent/independent status makes them influential with regard to family spending and household purchases, and as direct consumers.
Additionally, while Millennials are the most effected and weighed down by student loan debt, Generation Z isn’t quite there yet. Of those that have begun accumulating student loan debt (26.9 percent), 75.36 percent of them have not yet begun paying it off. This means extra money for purchases this age group tends to make: new shoes, cell phone cases … even hover boards.
So the buying influence and newly available cash flow makes Gen Z an untapped potential that can’t be ignored by brands.
So who is Gen Z? This fresh-faced group, commonly referred to as iGen or post-Millennials, doesn’t know life without social media and smart TVs. They – unlike their big Millennial siblings – don’t remember the great cell phone data package debate: to get a data package or not to get a data package (it really was a question!). They think, what the heck is a cell phone without internet access? Oh right, a HOME phone.
Technology is what drives this new generation. They are never offline. It just doesn’t exist. In fact, nearly 80 percent of Generation Z follows brands they like on social media. So when marketing to this cohort, campaigns that worked for Millennials need to be redesigned to be more technologically sophisticated and flashy.