Here at YouthBeat, we’ve been surveying youth for more than a decade. We had Millennials in our data set when they were teens, and we have Generation Z now. This gives us the unique ability to compare the attitudes and behaviors of these two generations, based on their actual responses to our survey questions.
We’ve recently undertaken a large-scale analysis of more than 20,000 responses to our holistic lifestyle study from 2009-2015, and we’ll be reporting out the findings at the Marketing to Generation Z Conference in New York in October 2016 (click here for a link to the conference website). Let us know if you plan to attend—as conference sponsors, we can give you a discount code to use.
This was a fascinating exercise for us—we entered into it with several hypotheses (“stereotypes” is such a negative word), and the results were very surprising! Themes that we expected, but didn’t necessarily see validated, include:
- Millennials Lite: Being so close in age to Millennials, Gen Z (which some call Centennials) should largely share the attitudes and behaviors of those who passed through a few years ahead of them.
- Bleak Financial Outlook: Both generations lived through the housing and stock market crashes of 2007, so both should have similar behaviors when it comes to saving and spending.
- Social Creatures: Gen Z, living in a connected age, should be more active on social media than their Millennial counterparts.
- Multicultural Melding: The youngest Gen Zers come from no single majority ethnic background (some call them Plurals for this reason). All ethnic groups, then, should think and act in similar ways.
- Principled + Charitable: Growing up in the age of TOMS, Gen Zers should be more likely than Millennials were to put their money into brands that engage in cause-related marketing.
- Media Multitaskers: With so many functions available on mobile devices, Gen Zers should be more likely than Millennials to be engaged in multiple activities at a time.
In each of these areas, we identify marketing campaigns that fit squarely with the preferences and ideals of Generation Z…and some that miss the mark.
And here’s the best part…we crafted a fun quiz so you can find out whether your mindset is more aligned with the Millennial or the Gen Z generation.