Gen Z and the future

We’ve been running a series of talks on the next group coming of age in the next few years, hot on the heels of much discussed millennials. In the first of two articles we look at what the world has to offer Generation Z and how the future looks. We have picked six influences for young people today:

  1. Home ownership – with current 20 somethings spending three times more on housing than their grandparents – prospects of home ownership seem far away for this younger demographic
  2. Brand – gone are the days when with a piece of controlled consumer research, some great branding, fancy packaging and hefty ad spend was enough to get market penetration. These days digital savvy consumers expect an authentic story underpinned with genuine values they can identify with
  3. Media landscape – this has changed dramatically over the last decade with online media spend overtaking print ad spend for many major titles so it’s clear that targeting the smartphone generation is going to mean that brands need to be increasingly aware of who they want to talk to and how to reach them
  4. Ethical capitalism – online access has given us more exposure than ever to the state of our planet, how we behave and the impact of our actions than ever. As we’ve seen with the increased mass market awareness of the impact of plastics on the environment following the BBC Blue Planet II last year
  5. With better health outcomes for many people and an increased life expectancy – retirement may seem a long way off for Gen Z but increases in pension age and reduction in Government provision means they need to think about saving for the future long before past generations have
  6. And finally – the world in general looks very different – globalisation has led to a feeling of a smaller world, political unrest, instability and upset are not so unusual – the post-Brexit world will feel very different for this group many of whom will come of age as we leave Europe – so they will never experience living as an adult as part of Europe.

More than ever those of us in positions where we advise, market and communicate on behalf of brands and businesses need to be mindful that young people will not see the world in the same way as other generations.