Marketers sure do like to start their demographics young! While the past few years have seen their focus remain fixed on the elusive, headstrong Millennial, the focus is now moving to Generation Z, the cohort who are hot on their heels.
Let's get a few definitions out of the way so as to avoid confusion. The Millennial generation is also known as Generation Y, and spans births from roughly 1984 to 1997 (there are no specific dates, but most experts agree that millennials had a sliver of their childhood before the internet became widespread). Conversely, Generation Z starts around 1997 to around 2010. The main difference between these two generations is the fact that Generation Z grew up with high-speed internet from childhood, whereas most Millennials started surfing the net as a tween or young adult, and remember the pain of slow dial up and picking their top friends on Bebo.
Millennials have been well documented by marketers since their growth as a market force has surpassed that of their parents, the Baby Boomers, and are notably obsessed with soft pink, avocado toast and 'experiences'. While Millennials are social, and tech-savvy, Generation Z is more so; 92% of them already have an online footprint. However, this doesn't mean apps and e-commerce is more important to them than physical stores. Generation Z are, like Millennials, interested in 'experiences', and increasingly concerned with assessing products in person as well as taking purchases home immediately. Other concerns for Generation Z include connecting with 'helpful' online stores, which are easy to navigate and understand, and being able to find the information they need at any time. A key difference between Millennials and Generation Z is that Millennials have a greater amount of brand loyalty, while Generation Z is more concerned with getting the best quality, conversely Generation Z is also less concerned with price than Millennials who experienced the 2008 recession as young adults, and are more likely to take advantage of sales, coupons or offers. Generation Z is also more fiercely individual - don't expect a Gen Z signature shade, that's too mainstream. Along with this generation's strong focus on technology, there is a decrease in interest in television, and advertising methods are expected to undergo further radical changes to keep in touch with media consumption of these younger generations. One thing is for sure; Generation Z are especially taken with Youtube, with studies quoting up to 95% of Generation Z consuming content from the platform, significantly higher than any other generation. Youtube has already proven successful for many fashion bloggers and magazines, so it lies to designers to determine how best to use this platform to endear themselves to the latest generation to become a significant market force.