Millennials will finally enjoy a spotlight shift after years of analysis, disparaging headlines and collective handwringing from previous generations.

Generation Z are born after 1995, and they will be graduating college and joining the workforce soon, hold great influence and buying power. So its probably handy to get to know Generation Z a bit better.

Here are some brief insights:

They prefer processing information in quick bytes, exemplified by the success of social networks like Snapchat and Vine. This means their attention spans are shorter but they are better at multi-tasking.

They are collaborative and want to share and be part of a community. They are not passive content consumers, they want to engage with brands and be a part of the conversation.

They trust their friends and family. They are not as wildly individualistic and rebellious as the millennial. Gen Z like to know what others think, especially those close to them.

They are practical and realistic. Millennials grew up believing they could do anything they want, that they are special, and will prosper no matter what. Gen Z has seen that this isn’t exactly the case, so they are more realistic. They know success cannot be taken for granted and they want financial stability.

They are also more entrepreneurial, having grown up in a high tech, highly networked world with many start up billionaires.

So what does this mean for brands?

Brush up on your tech

Gen Z is the first truly digital native generation – they have never known a world without the Internet or smartphones. So they have high expectations when it comes to their tech. They expect mobile experiences that are well designed, full featured and rich in functionality and have no patience for unoptimised design and slow loading speeds.

Without a question, mobile should already be a part of your communication strategy. But all the more so when your target audience is Gen Z.

Gen Z also consumes a lot of video on different platforms (on their mobiles) so if you’re not spending time, effort and money on this medium, it is likely you will lose out on your slice of the Gen Z pie.

The 8-Second Filter

A study recently suggested that the Gen Z attention span is only 8 seconds long and they are unable to focus for extended amounts of time. But after asking a genuine Gen Z their opinion on this, we learned that the s0-called short attention span is actually a filter- in a world stuffed full of options, its considered wasteful to spend too much time on something they know they won’t be interested in. They have simply evolved a way to cope with the sensory overload of modern life, it is a way of utilizing their precious time effectively.

The good news for brands is that once a Gen Z likes your product, and know of other people who like it too, they will delve deep and likely become advocates themselves. Winning their attention is the biggest part of your battle – you will need to engage them with an immediately beneficial experience that will pique their interest. In 8 seconds.

Influenced by influencers

Not only are many YouTube stars, social media influencers and reality TV celebrities teenagers themselves, but Gen Z also form the fanbase of social influencers. They are particularly inspired by those who have become entrepreneurs and created their own successful products. They also rely heavily on online reviews and the opinions of online communities to determine their purchases.

So there you go. Generation Z will be out en masse before you know it, and the brands that are ready to appeal to them will be the brands that get the Gen Z ringgit!

Are you preparing for Generation Z?


Don’t want to miss out on the weekly shots of branding? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

Don’t want to miss out on the weekly shots of branding? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.