And they are stealing the thunder from the millennials by displaying an entirely new set of behaviors and expectations. This is a generation born after 1997, who have just started their 20s. Organizations, take note, or else they will wipe you off.
GenZ has finally come of age and that too in a world that has rarely experienced so much change in such a span of time. Throughout their lives, Gen Z has been exposed to circumstances which are so varied that they have grown up to be a set of people completely different from their other generational counterparts. Be it political, technological, social or economical, everything has been moving at a dynamic speed, altering the realities of this generation. Organizations who are hoping to connect with this generation hence need to understand who they are, what they want and how they want it.
What sets Gen Z apart
Gen Z is very different from the millennials and this is because of the exceptional world that they have experienced growing up. Here are some of their unique traits that stand out:
Boundless access to modern technology
Gen Z does not know of a world where an answer cannot be found out instantly with a press of a button. The internet and mobile devices came around the same time they were born. This is unlike the millennials who saw the best of both worlds – a world without social media and internet and a world getting defined by it. By this logic, Gen Z are the true digital natives. They have grown up online and connected to a wide variety of information and even to their friends, businesses and any place they want to approach. They only know the way of instantly connecting with someone they want to talk to, be it anyone in any space. They prefer socializing online than in real life.
The entrepreneurial streak
Gen Z has grown up with parents who are much more open and do not hover around their children, unlike millennial parents. They have acted more like advisors than monitors to their children. As a result of this unique familial setting, Gen Z as a generation is more self-aware and independent. They are intuitively innovative, willing to learn by themselves and goal oriented. They do not mind taking a plunge into creating something of their own that adds value to a larger goal.
According to High School Careers Study, 62 percent of Gen Z would actually like to start their own companies rather than work for an established business. They also like to spend most of their time engaging in productive activities rather than just hang out with friends. They are driven, very much in touch with reality and not afraid of hard work. This makes them driven and they want to be as productive as possible. They also like to be engaged by real people who have made a mark for themselves through work on social media, rather than by celebrities. They also prefer content that is made by ordinary people who have become online personalities on their own accord, rather than commercially produced content (Cassandra Report: Gen Z, 2015).
They demand loyalty
Gen Z are highly aware of the world around them and they want to use this knowledge to create better and their own solutions to existing problems. They can easily distinguish between what is real and of high quality. As such, failing to deliver their demands can make them quit any solution they might opt for. They have very high expectations from businesses and will not hear or try anything that complicates their life in any way. Traditional loyalty programs such as reward cards and promotions have been found to be a losing battle for Gen Z as per an EY study.
Winning the trust and loyalty of Gen Z is not going to be easy. They need solutions which are unique, makes their lives easy and solves their problems. This goes beyond such personalizing options for them, but to actually help them invent the offer for or with you. Figuring out their needs and creating loyalty strategies will define which businesses stay and which don’t in the near future.
Explore, understand, impact!
Gen Z is smart, tech-savvy and extremely intelligent. Successful businesses will have to adapt to this new norm and find out a way to thrive in such dynamic times, through solutions that disrupt the market and earn the loyalty and trust of Gen Z. This would require organizations to understand this generation and their exact expectations and create brand new solutions. Organizations will have to create experiences for Gen Z that they cannot live without.
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