In the past, consumers would often follow brands and fit their style to those brands that led the way. Today, expressing individuality means we choose things that fit our lifestyle. Gen Z, or “True Gen”, born between 1995-2010 values individual expression and avoids labels. Millennials, the previous generation, focuses more on self, and is less willing to accept different points of view.
Consumption research has shown that Generation Z-ers are involving themselves in a number of causes. They believe that dialogue can solve most conflicts. What this means for businesses is that when they market to Gen Z, they are going to have to view “consumption as access rather than possession, consumption as an expression of individual identity, and consumption as a matter of ethical concern“, says an article in McKinsey & Company.
Choosing University by Outcome rather than Rank
Generation Z chooses universities by their degree outcomes rather than their rankings. They more likely to be influenced by how far the degree will actually take them afterwards.
Let’s compare other generations. Baby Boomers (1940-1959) consumed to express ideology. Gen X (1960-1979) consumed status, Millenials (1980-94) consumed experiences. Gen Z is consuming to search for truth. In Gen Z’s search for identity, they will very likely change the way we live on this planet. But will Gen Z come to conclusions about truth? With regards to identity, maybe not. They are identity nomads, with fluid identities. Ironically, this is very much how Ancient Rome felt about things like gender.
Truths are expressed in idealism. Gone is the old shopper of the noughties. No more shopping for what brand names tell us is fashionable. Instead, Gen Z will consider friend recommendations as their most trusted source of information about products. They crave connectivity. Holidays will be about disconnecting from digital and reconnecting with the real world.
Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly Breaking News Report for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!