Is Your Business Ready For Generation Z?

Millennials might have held the spotlight for the last decade, but Generation Z is here and they’re more web savvy than us all. Born in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Generation Z are between the ages of 12 and 19 years today, and they are the next generation of global consumers. These youngsters have their own ideas about education, politics and business and as the next major demographic of consumers, brands need to take notice. Understanding the attitudes and behaviors of Generation Z will play a major role in the future of business. J. Walter Thompson Company has shed some light on this new dynamic group in a study aimed directly at understanding today’s teens. The group represents an estimated $44 billion in annual purchasing power, and their shopping habits are set to be influenced more by ethical decisions than the pop charts. This is a demographic which are in-tune with their ethical implications. According to Lucie Greene, Worldwide director of the Innovation Group, “Generation Zers are a complex mixture of sophistication and wide-eyed optimism. They are intelligent, confident and – importantly for brands – they question the prescribed norms of everything from formal education to gender politics. For brands to reach this group, they will need to understand what makes them tick and come to grips with these nuances.”. According to the study:

  • 82% of Gen Zers say others’ sexual orientation isn’t a concern
  • 86% interact with their smartphones at least twice a day
  • 70% use YouTube for information and content for more than two hours each day
  • 88% say people are okay with exploring their sexuality more than in previous generations
  • 67% prefer to shop in physical stores rather than online sites
  • 83% say saving money for their future is important to them

So what can we expect from a post-Millennial business climate? Let’s take a look at an example Gen Zer: Ethically conscious: Generation Z understands that they are a small part of a much larger community that we all play a part in. Ethical concerns are a great influence on the choices made by these teens. Global issues like climate control and pollution have been been hotly debated throughout the entire Generation Z lifetime, and they have taken notice and plan to do something about it. They know that small actions can make a big difference in the future of our planet and don’t take these ideas lightly. What this means for your business: When working to attract Generation Zers it is important to be transparent in all actions. Be aware of any ethical lines your industry could cross and be sure to take a firm stance. Pick a partnering charity and let your customers know that helping others is important to your business. Socially empowered: Most Millennials remember a time before email and text messaging, but for Generation Z this is not the case. This generation has mastered the social aspects of technology and understands the part technology plays in creating lasting changes in our world. From Facebook to Kickstarter, the internet provides endless opportunities for the everyday citizen to discuss and encourage change and improvement; for the next generation the sky’s no longer the limit. What this means for your business: Pick the best social media site for your business and invest in ensuring it is a strong channel. It is not imperative to connect on all forms of social media but it is important to master a few different outlets. Post often and include eye catching images to really make an impact. Selectively loyal: Unlike Millennials, Generation Z don’t follow trends lightly. Pop culture has a much looser grip on the next generation. Young people between the ages of 12 and 19 will try new things but require a solid reason to attach a strong loyalty to a specific brand. Over half of the respondents in the survey claimed to have abandoned one or more social media sites because it no longer held their interest. The internet has raised a generation where information and options are endless and Generation Z plans to make the most of it. What this means for your business: Develop a strong marketing strategy that is catchy enough to make a splash. Capturing our latest generation’s attention is easy enough – but you also need to be sure that you deliver what you sell. A solid product and customer service is necessary to develop the loyalty that Generation Z offers. Wise in the ways of the web: Most Generation Zers knew how to access and navigate the internet from a very young age. They did not struggle through the growing pains of emerging technology like older generations have had to. This has created an environment of technologically savvy young people who have a strong grasp on the dangers of the World Wide Web. Issues like bullying and privacy are forefront in the minds of Generation Zers. According to the study 82% of those surveyed said that they they “think very carefully” about the images and information they post on the internet. What this means for your business: Nothing deters smart web users like unsafe websites and spam. Be sure that your sites offer a strong SSL certificate and avoid spam at all cost to really capture the Generation Z market. For Midphase customers, you would be wise to look into our partnership with SiteLock for ultimate protection. Think your business can meet the demands of Generation Z? Get started on your online business journey today with a powerful hosting solution from Midphase!