The Terminal

Generation Z Consumers

Hello Generation Z – we welcome the 21st century’s first born! For the numerous brands seeking to attract this group; here’s what you need to know about this consumer demographic to position your company for success.

If you were to paint a broad picture of who Generation Z is, it would be this: they’re young, decisive, smart and just a little bit vain with plenty of buying power. In just four short years, this demographic will make up nearly half of the U.S. population. While Generation Z shares some similarities with Millennials, the group has some vast differences too. Particularly in their expectations of brands and how they interact with them. Generation Z is poised to make a big impact on the consumer buying space.

WHO IS GENERATION Z?

Loosely characterized as those born after the mid-nineties, Gen Z is maturing in a world where the veil of normalcy has been pulled off. As a result, today’s teens appear to be more level-headed and realistic about the world they live in compared to previous generations. Analysis from the Cassandra report shows that:

71 percent of Gen Z respondents expect to experience significant failure before achieving success. 40 percent say they see failure as an opportunity to try again. Just like generations before them, Gen Z’s world view has been shaped by incredible political and historical events. This generation is growing up in a post-9/11 world. They’ve felt the impact of The Great Recession; watched the unfolding of corporate scandals including Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff, Volkswagen and Turing Pharmaceuticals (to name just a few). They have witnessed the legalization of same-sex marriage along with the nomination of America’s first black president and subsequent nomination of its first female presidential nominee.

WHAT GENERATION Z CARES ABOUT

Consequently, Gen Z thirsts for honesty, candor and social good. Nearly 80 percent of teens surveyed by sparks & honey reported that they are concerned about world hunger; children around the world dying of preventable disease and man’s impact on the planet. It’s no wonder they prefer to shop with brands that exhibit some sense of corporate social responsibility.

Gen Z is also one of the most open and accepting when it comes to gender and racial equality. This is the generation that’s given rise to terms like “gender fluid” and “gender queer”. Notable Gen Zers like Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus and Ruby Rose are emerging as role models for a generation that eschews labels when it comes to gender and sexuality.

They’ve also grown increasingly diverse and tolerant of different races and ethnicities—and will expect as much from the brands they support. By 2020, more than half of American children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group. A figure that is slated to grow as time passes.

THE GENERATION Z CONSUMER

How much buying power does a Gen Zer really have? JWT Intelligence reports $44 billion annually. This group’s purchasing power extends to their parents’ buying decisions as well. About 93% of Gen Z parents say their children have at least some sway on their family’s spending, including:

Apparel
Electronics
Entertainment
Toys

It’s estimated that Gen Z spends one in ten of their dollars online. In fact, access to internet is huge when it comes to this generation. Considered the most connected, Gen Z is used to accessing what they need on-the-go. No surprise since nearly three quarters of American teens ages 13 to 17 have smartphones and go online daily.