Gen Z now make up over 30% of the population and by 2030 they will make up 1/3 of the working population (and I’m one of them!). Just in Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, UK, and US alone, those who are born between 1996-2012 will dominate the workforce by a sheer 87 million by 2030. In the US, they already make up 40% of all consumers – so, as Gen Z slowly start to populate the workforce and become financially secure, they will reign as the domineering force that influences market trends.

According to a study conducted by Oxford Economics and Snapchat, we have learnt that they will make up $3.1 trillion of the spend in the aforementioned countries and their influence will extend into both a professional and commercial sphere.  With these initial stats alone, it is important to understand the values and motivations that drive Gen Z; as they will inevitably become the deciding factor in the success for your business.

Social responsibility

Whether it be sustainability or for a social cause, Gen Z are not solely looking at a product/service but are also focused on the brand initiatives. Is the brand ethically responsible? Are they up to date with current social trends? What is the company mission? These are just some of the questions that they ask and this shift towards social consciousness may not only change how people shop but may well be the push towards an improved society.

As a generation born with information and technology, companies must be genuine in their efforts towards social responsibility, as lackluster attempts may be branded as performative activism. Accountability is stressed now more than ever, and it is important for a brand to understand the changing wants of their target market to stay successful.

Short attention span

Compared to a millennials’ 12 second attention span, Gen Z measures at a significantly lower 8 seconds. However, the initial negative reaction to this stat may be unwarranted, as having a short attention span is the new and trending trait of efficient workers.  A shorter attention span does not equate to a diminished ability to concentrate and is rather a filter that allows people to find content quicker. Once Gen Z finds content that engages with them, they become extremely dedicated and attentive.

According to the Uniquely Generation Z study, half the surveyed members reported that finding a product/service quickly is very important to them with 60% saying they would not bother using app/websites with bad UI/UX. This key information is imperative for marketers as brands must create content that is both engaging and easy to navigate to successfully promote their product/service.

Augmented reality

The rising use of Augmented Reality (AR) has called upon a new type of worker who can incorporate both creative and practical skills into one role. 51% of Australians have reported that AR would make their online/offline shopping experience less risky, and this rising need will suit the abilities of Gen Z as they have a fundamental understanding in the workings of AR.  Australian Gen Zs are particularly efficient at adapting to new concepts, undertaking creative tasks, and looking for opportunities to learn. And with their familiarity in AR, this makes Gen Z the perfect candidates in growing this technology in the Australian market. 

With the rising use of AR, we can expect that this will not only change e-commerce and marketing industries but has potential to affect healthcare, entertainment, architecture and many more industries. This outlines the sheer power of Gen Z as they become the drivers in pushing for this new technology.

In short, Gen Z is all about responsibility, creativity, and innovation. We are talking about a group of people who have grown up with new technologies that facilitates connections and honest reviews. Whether you love or hate them, Gen Z will soon dominate every facet of society and it is imperative for both marketers and brands to understand their needs in order to maintain success over time.   

By Intern Agent, Danica.