These are my paraphrased notes and observations from the presentation by Katherine Savitt at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on 17 November 2010.
Generation Z are those children and teenagers born between 1992-2010. In the USA they number 65 million. In first world countries they number 275 million, while worldwide there are 1.6 billion Gen-Z’s.
They are the first generation of digital natives, people who have grown up with the internet and connected devices. They are not amazed by the digital age, they take it for granted.
Gen Z represent the age of acquired attention deficit disorder. They are used to using multiple devices at once, and doing it effectively. In fact, neuroplasticity theory explains that, as we evolve with machines and multiple smart devices, we as humans are actually able to process much more with multitasking ability, despite what we always believed about the need to concentrate on one thing at a time.
Gen Z have an expectation that life follows video games. Ie. you should receive validation for your wins and be able collect things along the way.
Gen Z have also reclassified cheating due to their online and gaming habits. Ie. game cheats and shortcuts aren’t a bad thing, they’re seen as smart.
Gen Z are the new curators:
- Entertainment should be on demand rather than dictated by suppliers. This is the new normal.
- Commerce: while past generations were brand loyal and wore them with pride, Gen Z is no slave to a brand or badge.
- They are extremely Social. Gen Z will buy not because marketing told them to, but because their friends recommended it.
Gen Z demonstrate 3 key behaviours: Share, Express, Consume
- 62% report 250+ friends are on a social network
- 86% have shared a video this month
- 65% have shared this week
- 73% report “discovering through my friend” as most important way to find new products
- 93% have created or shared content online (video, photo or post)
There is no hiding for marketers from Gen Z. They curate and kill or passionately market something depending upon whether it resonates with them or not. They can be a brand’s best friend or worst enemy.
Z future is here
Generations X & Y are actually influenced by Gen Z now.
Brands don’t need to worry about getting more creative in order to win over Gen Z, they need to get curated.
Its important to make your brand open, easy, amazing and be able to be curated.