Here Comes Gen Z: 10 Keys to Understanding Them

According to Open Mind Strategy
research, these are the top things to know about the new kids on the block Gen
Z:
1. Huge
Gen Zs make up more than
a third of the world’s population and comprise nearly a quarter of the US
population ‘ bigger than both Millennials and Baby Boomers ‘ and still being
born.
2. The most diverse
generation ever
Gen Z will be the last
majority-White generation born in the United States. Already the white majority
is holding on by a thread, only 51% of Gen Z born into non-Hispanic White
families.
This generation’s
diversity also extends to their sexuality and gender identity. More than
one-third of Gen Zs self-identify as bisexual to some degree; more than half
know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns.
3. They idolize
Influencers, not Celebrities
Most dedicate more time
to YouTube than any other social site and their view of celebrities isn’t limited
to movie stars and musicians, note the billions of views racked up by YouTube
stars RayWilliamJohnson and PewDiePie. They want to emulate self-made
Influencers who are just like them.
4. A plan to get paid
While Gen Zs are
certainly passion-driven, if they know their passions won’t lead to financial
stability, they have a plan for something that will. In everything from
entrepreneurship to sports, kids and teens are finding places to excel early
and focus their efforts in hopes of a payoff.
5. Having safe fun
Gen Zs are still
teenagers! They want to have a good time, but they don’t want to negatively
impact the successful future they are working to build. The teen pregnancy and
birth rate are at historic lows, as is the usage of cigarettes and heroin among
high-schoolers.
6. Caring about ‘cool’
Gen Z is snarky and very
image aware. With the ever-growing influence of social media, there is a
palpable return of ‘cool kids’ and ‘losers’ among Gen Z. They will quickly take
down a post that doesn’t receive enough likes for fear of someone seeing its
lack of attention.
7. Don’t share
everything online
Gen Z takes a crafted
and curated approach to posts. They are more aware of who they are sharing
their lives with and how it affects their identity, which is why platforms like
Snapchat are so appealing. They saw the devastating effects party pics had on
their sibling’s scholarship or job offer.
8. No Mo ‘Beta Boys’
Gen Z boys want to be
taken more seriously. To them, girls are certainly equal, but not better.
Gen Z boys want in on the partnership by taking themselves a bit more seriously
in school, work and relationships, but also embracing their sensitive side.
9. Mostly cynical
Gen Zs have realistic
expectations and are skeptical that the world will work in their favor. More
than eight in 10 Gen Zs were born after September 11. Growing up, conflicts
over issues like the economy, gun violence and climate change, have been
common. As a result, these teens have developed a valid claim to cynicism.
10. Still KIDS!
This generation is just
beginning to come of age, and as uptight as they may seem, they’re still kids
who haven’t quite figured it all out yet. They’re working hard and taking
themselves seriously, but they are still silly, young, fun and undeclared.
END
Open Mind Strategy, LLC, is a research and
brand strategy firm founded by Robin Hafitz, in 2010, with the mission of
providing ‘more human intelligence.’ OMS
(http://www.openmindstrategy.com/) provides
insight services, including qualitative and quantitative research, brand
studies, show and message testing, segmentation, and customized inquiries, as
well as strategic brand consulting and educational workshops. The O
MS
team is proud to have worked with leading clients, such as A&E Networks,
AMC, Amazon, Clear Channel, Cond?? Nast, Gannett, Kao Brands, MTV, NBCUniversal,
Scripps Networks, Unilever, USA Today, Yahoo!, and many more.