Just when you think you have your head around the much maligned ‘Me Generation’, Gen Y look out… here comes Gen Z! But if you believe that they’re simply a younger version of Gen Y, you’re way off the mark! Born between 1995 and 2009, and mostly younger than Google, Australia’s 4.6 million Gen Zs are truly the 21st Century generation. They are a unique product of the world they were born into – one of digital and technological disruption, global financial uncertainty, ongoing terrorist threats, climate change and fundamental societal change.
So why do you need to know this?
Because they are now entering university and the workforce, thus becoming an important target group for marketers and employers alike. In fact, within a decade they will comprise 12% of the workforce.
So what makes them different?
Well Gen Z is the most technologically saturated generation our world has ever seen – for them it is 5 or 6 screens, not 2 or 3. And this impacts upon everything from how they shop, how they engage with information and brands, how they communicate and how they participate in the workplace. They’ve grown up in a supportive family and educational structure that has told them that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. So, as a result they are more entrepreneurial and sophisticated than previous generations at the same age, with influence beyond their years. More than 75% of Gen Zs aim to turn their hobby into a full-time job compared to 50% of the generation before.
But beware, this generation has an extremely short attention span – you have less than 10 seconds to engage them before they switch off. Impatient, self-directed, technology savvy; this generation expects to be able to communicate quickly and easily.
Connect with them through collaboration – they’ve grown up in a world where they’ve had more power and more choices than previous generations. They want to be heard and have their opinions valued. They are comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings to the world through social media. And most of all they value honesty and transparency. They genuinely feel that they are citizens of a connected world.
And lastly, they have created their own language. So I could politely invite you to watch our Gen Z video below, or in their words…
“Harro, you defs should check out this video, you’d be cray cray to miss it. Totes amazeballs. YOLO XOXOX ay!”
Jo Stone is BCM’s Director of Strategy