By Alex Altman
While many brands are still figuring out Millennials, they’d be wise not to neglect the next generation of consumers entering the workforce. Generation Z, defined as people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, are entering the economy in heavy numbers, bringing with them immense buying power and a unique set of behaviors and lifestyle traits.
When it comes to influence, Gen Zers are already giving Millennials a run for their money. According to Forbes, Gen Z is on track to become the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020, already accounting for up to $143 billion in direct spending.
While Millennials and Gen Zers have much in common, studies show they also have some distinctive characteristics. Here are 10 insights to help you better understand Gen Z.
Social Hoppers: Not surprisingly, social media is the natural habitat of Gen Z. What some may find surprising? Their favorite channels are YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. [NewsWhip]
Not on Facebook: According to a 2017 Piper Jaffray survey, only 9% of teens say Facebook is their preferred social media platform – something that could ultimately lead to the platform’s demise. [Business Insider]
Visual Creatures: Why don’t Gen Zers take to Facebook? One reason is because they engage at much higher rates with content that features visuals as opposed to only words (see: YouTube, Instagram, etc.) [Criteo]
More Smartphones: Gen Zers are even more reliant on smartphones than their Millennial counterparts, logging 15.4 hours on their devices per week. [Vision Critical]
Less TVs: The rise of streaming services has decreased this generation’s appetite for live TV. Gen Zers watch just 13.2 hours of TV, nearly half the amount of Baby Boomers. [Vision Critical]
Products > Experiences: According to a study by Deep Focus, 3 in 5 consumers from Gen Z would rather have a cool product than a cool experience. That’s a sharp contrast from Millennials, who overwhelmingly prefer the opposite. [Contently]
Dare to Dream: 72% of high school students want to start a business someday and 61% would rather be an entrepreneur than an employee when they graduate college. [Upfront Analytics]
A Positive Development: This generation combines ambition with altruism. 60% of Gen Zers want to change the world, compared with just 39% of millennials. [Upfront Analytics]