Out with the Millennials and in with Gen Z

The Millennial generation has often been said to have changed many industries, sectors and products, but it seems that is old news and now businesses are desperately trying to capture and keep the attention of those born after 1996 known as the Gen Z demographic.  That is something that might be easier said than actually done.

This demographic of consumers is sometimes called “post-millennials” or “iGen” and make up more than one-fifth of the U.S. population and is the most racially and ethnically diverse group along with the most connected and influential group or generation in the nation’s history.  More than 70 per cent of Gen Zers are said to influence their family’s spending, according to a 2017 report from International Business Machines Corp. and the National Retail Federation.

When you have that type of control over where and how billions of dollars are being spent, businesses from all industries and those responsible for marketing their products and services move quickly to understand motivates this demographic to capture their consumer dollars.  This is not an easy task as Gen Z are less optimistic about economic opportunity and more concerned about debt, so they are more risk-averse than previous generations in terms of attitudes, behaviour and spending.

Because of how the connect Gen Z is, this gives this generation an incredible combination of economic power and social media clout.  For example, a disparaging tweet from Kylie Jenner earlier this year about the teen-dominated app Snapchat wiped out $1.3 billion USD in Snap Inc.’s market value, now that is the exception not the rule, but it is the new norm in business, so they better be prepared because if a simple tweet has the ability to influence this type of capital change, how else will generation effect markets and shape industries in the years to come.

By Jamie Barrie