Tag Archives: Gen Z

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.

Sleep Loss in Teens Linked to Social Media

by Yamilex Batista

In this generation, teenagers are becoming so addicted and
obsessed with social media that it can potentially affect their ability to
focus in school. Instead of getting nine hours of sleep, most teenagers
dedicate their time to use social media during the night.
According to a recent article in Media Post, ‘Sleep
Loss in Teens Linked to Social Media
,’ a survey from the Wales Institute
for social & Economic Research revealed that one-fifth of 900 students,
ages 12 to 15 years old, reported to ‘almost always’ waking up during the
night. Moreover, the study found that teenage females were more likely to use
social media more often than teenage males during the night time. This
emphasizes that teenagers are developing a sleep disorder because of
uncontrollable social media use. As a result of this sleepless pattern,
students tend to feel tired and less motivated during class time, which negatively
affects their academic performance.
The article also links social media to sleep disruption by
referring to the study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
However, this survey aimed to target adults ages 19 to 32 within the United
States instead of middle school teenagers. Out of 1,788 adults surveyed in the
study about 30% pointed out to experience sleep disturbance. The study also
pointed out that adults who were constantly using social media tended to feel
three times more tired, compared to adults who use social media at a lower
rate.
However, studies in an article from the Medical Daily, ‘Sleep
and Social Media: New Study Finds Link Between Facebook Use and Lack of Sleep
,’
aim to indicate people tend to check social media late at night as a result of
a previous sleep disturbance. The research demonstrated that sleep disruption does
not arise from social media use during the night. The study revealed that the
use of social media during the night is increasing because students tend to use
it to control their disrupted sleep schedules. Students believe that using
Facebook during the night might help them fall asleep faster. At the same time,
students developed the habit of constantly checking social media pages or
Facebook to stay informed and to relax their mind.
Overall, this research reveals one of the many outcomes and
factors contributing to uncontrollable social
media
use. Young people in the U.S. are devoted to spending most of their
time on social media, instead of focusing in school and the real-world
environment. High use of social media or Facebook can cause sleep disruption,
but at the same time, the lack of sleep can influence to the use of social
media.
About the Author: Yamilex is currently a Marketing Intern at
Knect365 where she assists in social media research & management, blog
writing, and various marketing tasks. She is also a student at the Renaissance
Charter High School for Innovation. She hopes to attend the University
Pennsylvania or Boston College to major in communications with integrated
marketing.

Category Insights: Rainy Day Segments #12 And #35

It isn’t often that marketers get to blaze a trail through
an entirely new consumer category ‘ rolling out brand identities and category
signifiers from scratch ‘ but legal marijuana offers just such an opportunity.
Except, as Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management ‘ a
firm that invests heavily in the budding industry ‘ pointed out in her
fascinating TMRE presentation, marijuana isn’t an entirely new category. The
rich cultural history of the herb in America is something the marijuana
industry has to negotiate as it tries to create an identity that appeals to a
new, more diverse generation of smokers.
Even the word ‘smoker’ is part of the drug’s heritage, not
its present ‘ marijuana users are as, if not more, likely to get high by
vaping, edibles, or topical lotions and patches. Marketers are faced with a
whole legacy vocabulary designed by the authorities to put people off
marijuana, not draw them in. They have to weed out phrases like ‘recreational’ ‘
with its negative drug war connotations. Most of all, they have to contend with
the Cheech and Chong or slacker-era image of the lazy stoner, something that
puts modern marijuana users on the defensive.

Weed culture: from this…

So who are these new users? Paxhia had the figures. 65%
male, 84% employed, average age 30, mostly well-off, and roughly evenly split
between the major political parties. Most strikingly, only 31% of users claimed
they used pot to ‘get stoned’ ‘ but 95% agreed that they used the drug to be
more present in the moment, and in the ethnographic part of the study they shared
stories of how mundane activities from cleaning to fishing to dog walking were
enhanced by cannabis. As Paxhia put it, these people are checking in, not
dropping out. Everybody must get centered.
This wholesale adoption of the language of mindfulness was
the biggest indication of what made this talk so fascinating. Branded Marijuana
‘ the unbranded stuff still does a brisk trade, I believe – is a very modern
category: it’s created by and for younger consumers, and fairly wealthy and bohemian
ones at that. So it conforms almost entirely to what they expect ‘ or what marketers
expect they expect – from consumer goods. Legal pot is artisanal, tastefully
designed, social, inventive and experiential.
Paxhia reported, for instance, that in San Francisco, chefs
and ‘budtenders’ are collaborating on private pairing parties where the
traditionally close relationship between weed and food can be explored in a
more upscale manner. The entire industry is being created along the principles
of post mass-marketing: it’s a trendwatcher’s dream.
Of course, most consumer goods categories balance modern
marketing approaches with a legacy of how things were done in the 20th
century. But while beer, say, struggles to reconcile the Craft-aware kids it
wants to sell to with the Bud-chugging masses it always has sold to, marijuana
gets to make a clean break. It’s at pains to reject its underground image as
corny or childish. No more Reefer Madness ‘ brands like Kiva and Goodship are
almost defensively tasteful. ‘It’s commonplace in the finance business’ said
one earnest young enthusiast, to the sound of weeping from Jerry Garcia’s
unquiet ghost.

…to this: Leafs By Snoop.

But what’s also interesting is that the real breadheads are
staying away. Legal pot is ‘ so far ‘ growing without much input from risk
averse corporations. Celebrities are getting involved: Snoop Dogg has a brand, naturally, though
older consumers recalling the sleeve art to Doggy Style may be disappointed
that it looks as discreet as any other. And the market is set to expand, with
legal marijuana propositions on the ballot in multiple states this November.
But for now, the legal weed industry has a unique, boutique
flavour. It is changing rapidly ‘ the marijuana industry moves in ‘dog years’,
as time in it seems to pass much faster (another departure from tradition). So
the business is collectively getting to grips with issues around portion
control, regulation, and packaging information ‘ a dramatically steep learning
curve. The legal cannabis products of even two years ago look a lot more
homespun and less sophisticated than those on sale now.
In the process, it’s not just marijuana’s past that’s being
rejected. The future that stoners used to imagine for legal pot ‘ paranoid images
of Joe Camel with spliff in hand as Big Tobacco got its claws into weed ‘ has manifestly
not come to pass. Paxhia’s 420-degree overview of the category she passionately
loves showed that instead it’s a unique test bed for the new norms and assumptions of
marketing.

Media Brands Navigate The Multicultural Future

Two great presentations at Monday’s Entertainment and Media track
took on the multicultural consumer. It’s a popular topic: the undeniable fact
of a diversifying US population forces brands to rethink their approaches.
Especially so, when you consider that the demographic prizes marketers most
covet ‘ Millennials and Gen Z ‘ are at the front of this change.
Thomas Grayman from Spike TV applied the latest neuroscience
techniques to this thorny problem, and came away with a valuable insight about
how representation impacts viewers of color at a subconscious level. Yatisha
Forde of NBC Universal took the ‘reaching the multicultural consumer’ rulebook
and tore it right up, asking us to turn our assumptions upside down: as
multiculturalism becomes the ‘New Mainstream’, start with the Hispanic consumer and reach the rest of the market
from them.
Spike TV had a typical media brand problem. It had built its
brand on appealing to young white men, and now it needed to reach a broader
audience. It had a roster of strong reality and celebrity shows ‘ like tattoo
throwdown Ink Master and personal finance boot camp Life Or Debt.  But how could the brand market its line-up to
viewers outside its former core audience?
Grayman described how Spike TV crafted ads for its shows and
tested them with cells of white and non-white consumers, using NeuroInsight.
NeuroInsight’s techniques monitored brain response to the ads ‘ in particular,
the extent to which long-term memory is activated by a piece of content.
Initial results made tough reading for a brand looking to expand
its audience for a more diverse era. Despite diverse casts with people of color
prominently featured, the ads scored lower among the non-white participants on
engagement and on long-term memory activation. Emotional response was starkly
negative. What was going on?
Lip Sync Battle – what did it get right?
By exploring response on a second-by-second basis, Spike TV
could find out exactly what the problem was. On average the ads were a turn off
for non-white viewers, but with a stark in response before and after the first
prominent appearance of a person of color. As soon as one appeared, memory
encoding jumped. And the ad in which people of color appeared prominently
throughout ‘ for celebrity miming challenge Lip Sync Battle ‘ saw no difference
between white and non-white response.
Grayman called this moment of truth for non-white viewers ‘the
invitation’ ‘ the point at which they unconsciously register that yes, this
show welcomes them. With this insight, Spike TV has been able to retool its marketing
as it looks to build and diversify its audience. The moment of invitation needn’t
involve visual representation ‘ one ordinary Persil ad found its ‘invitation’
in the closing seconds, with a snatch of Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do it’.
Multicultural representation is a hot topic ‘ it’s generally
framed as both a social and commercial good, based on the overall positive
effects of under-represented groups seeing themselves in the media. Spike TV’s
study offered proof of its impact at an individual level ‘ representation is
the key to unlocking engagement, attention and long-term impact.
Yatisha Forde of NBCUniversal took that insight a step
further. The brand’s CultureFirst’ approach flipped the traditional
multicultural script. Instead of taking a Total Market insight and ‘translating’
it for different minority groups, the CultureFirst approach takes insights
designed for a particular consumer ‘ a young Hispanic woman ‘ and then
transfers them to the total market. By not using whiteness as an assumed
baseline, CultureFirst is able to get ahead of cultural trends, not play
catch-up. As Forde put it, ‘Total market strategies driven by Latino human
truths will drive stronger consumer resonance among Hispanics and
Non-Hispanics, due to the profound, pervasive and permanent nature of Latino
culture in the US.’
In practical terms, this meant ads that started
Spanish-language and tested just as well among Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups
when transferred to English-language. It also meant feeding into NBC Universal’s CurveReport ‘ the company’s large-scale trend tracker. CultureFirst helped
NBC Universal locate a group it called ‘the New Mainstream’, made up of Hispanic
consumers but also Hispanic-inspired consumers: again, moving the assumptions
of what ‘mainstream’ culture is to better reveal the future shape of the
market.
The trends uncovered were the most fascinating part of Forde’s
report. Some were pragmatic ‘ putting the spotlight on La Jefa (‘the boss’),
figurehead of a trend towards female-owned small Latina businesses, a segment
that’s grown 87% over the last decade. Others had profound implications for
cultural identity ‘ ‘Otherland’, shorthand for the way in which Hispanic and ‘New
Mainstream’ consumers are comfortable with multiple cultural identities from
the broad to the niche: Hispanic and witch, Blaxican and skater. But rather
than dividing consumers into segments of one, these intersectional identities
become hubs by which like-minded people can find each other.
The CultureFirst approach has led NBC Universal to re-think
the way it treats culture. Younger generations, it realises, want to see
themselves as the owners and tellers of their own story, not simply as an
audience. So honouring existing culture is only an important first step. After
it comes sharing culture without appropriation, by giving its owners the agency
to tell stories. Then finally helping people inspired by these stories to
connect.
Both these presentations were inspiring beginnings to TMRE
2016. Grayman’s showed how new technology can crack the trickiest of marketing
problems. Forde’s was an inspirational vision of a genuinely future-focused
marketing, which puts demographic change at its centre.

Shedding Some Light on Marketing to Generations

Photo by Boss Fight!

‘If my generation is remembered for anything, it will be as the last one that remembers the world before the Internet.’ – Lev Grossman, author

Every generation wants to be remembered. If you know what drives them, what inspires them, you’ll win their loyalty. 

Millennials, for instance, are inspired by music. According to “Why Music is an Effective Millennial Marketing Tool” by Micala Wright, “music is an emotional touchpoint for Millennials. Music is powerful because it is content, and it stimulates social interaction and drives loyalty.”

Learn more about generations in the marketplace during the Media Insights & Engagement Conference Feb. 1-3 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Here are two presentations you’ll want to check out: 

- Keynote speaker Neil Howe, best-selling author of Millennials Rising, presents “Generations: Lifestyles and Workstyles.” You’ll experience a fascinating journey through the life stories of older generations and an inspiring message about how to unleash the potential of today’s rising generation. 

- Keynote speaker Erica Orange, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, The Future Hunters, presents “Cybrids: The Future Begins Now.” Cybrids (Gen Z), are the first generation in history to have a truly symbiotic relationship with technology. You’ll learn what makes this generation tick and how businesses will have to accommodate these young, new consumers in the future.


Register today!

Join our network and stay connected all year long:
- twitter.com/@_MediaFusion
- linkedin.com/Media Insights & Engagement
- facebook.com/Media Insights & Engagement

Session descriptions are from the Media Insights & Engagement Conference brochure.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. 

Connect with Peggy on LinkedInTwitterGoogle+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com

Talking with 2.5 Million Teen/20-sums: DoSomething.org COO Has Tips

Old Crank Hijacks Blog to Carp About “Kids These Days”

By Marc Dresner
As I sat down to write this post I had two depressing thoughts
and I figured I might as well drag you down with me:

1. I am
officially ‘old.’ (And if you’re 26 years of age or over, sorry, but so are you.)

2. I am
out of touch. (And if you spend a lot of time talking about ‘youth culture,’ might
be you’re out of touch, too.)

That first fun fact came courtesy of
DoSomething.org under a section on its website dubbed ‘Old People’ that
unapologetically states: ‘If you’re 26+ we
consider you officially ‘old.’ This is an org for young people.’
Aria Finger
source: Crain’s New York


(Well I didn’t want to join your stupid org anyway! Pbbt’)

The second bit I deduced’but only after chasing some
teenagers off my lawn’from a comment made by DoSomething.org’s COO, Aria
Finger, who suggested that old people who talk about young people in sweeping
generalizations probably don’t understand them as well as they think.
‘You hear people generalizing a
lot. ‘Oh, young people like to share,’ and so on,’ said Finger. ‘We need to
remember that young people are diverse.’

”Young
people’ isn’t some homogenous panacea.’
”Young people’ isn’t some homogenous panacea,’ she added.

She’s right, of course. And we’re
all guilty of it.

Marketers and researchers, in
particular, love to label and wrap blanket statements around entire
generational cohorts.
It’s how we make sense of (and
market to) the world. Show me a statistician who doesn’t dehumanize people for
a living.
Now, no one is saying that
there isn’t any truth (or utility, for that matter) to statements like ‘Young
people like to share,’ etc.
But we probably make or accept them more often than
is advisable for the sake of expedience.

Myth:
Teenagers are usually on the cutting edge of technology
We all know, for example, that Gen Z’ er, Post-Millennials?
Gen Next? ‘What are we calling these kids we’re generalizing about anyway?!?
Gen TBD?
Whatever they are, they’re ‘digital natives,’ right?
The teens are into all the cutting edge technology, right?
Wrong. Finger says that’s a big misconception.
Well, ok, but they sure seem tech-savvy. (Help me with my DVR, please!)
I mean, what about their smartphones? All the kids
have smartphones. We didn’t have smartphones when I went to high school…
And most middle-class teens in the U.S. today still
don’t, Finger noted, which is why SMS text remains such a powerful communication
tool.
And just where does she get her information, you ask?
Why from DoSomething.org’s 2.5 million members ages
25 and under, of course.

 ‘We can send a text to 1.6 million young
people and get up to 70,000 responses in minutes.’
‘We can send a text to 1.6 million young people and
get up to 70,000 responses in a matter of minutes,’ Finger told The Research Insighter.
(For
any out-of-touch oldies, DoSomething is a pretty-big-deal-not-for-profit dedicated
to ‘making the world suck less’ by connecting teens and early 20-somethings to
social causes that matter to them.)
Finger
is also president of TMI, DoSomething’s agency subsidiary specializing in
research and consulting services around youth, technology and social change.
As a
result, Finger knows a thing or two about the kids and how to communicate with
them.
And in this podcast with The Research Insighter
interview series, Finger shares some tips for talking with young people, including:

‘ Why ‘if you build it they will come’ isn’t a great
mobile strategy

‘ How to keep an authentic two-way text dialogue
going with thousands of young people

‘ Why brands shouldn’t necessarily just take the
kids’ word for it when it comes to preferences, and more’
Editor’s
note:
Aria Finger will present ‘Using Mobile and Data Insights to Activate
Youth’ at The Future of Consumer Intelligence Conference taking place May 19th
through the 21st in Universal City, California.


SAVE 15% to attend The Future of Consumer Intelligence when you use code FOCI14BLOG today! 

For
more information or to register, please visit www.futureofconsumerintel.com


Old Crank

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / INTERVIEWER 
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.