A generation swap has changed the way brands communicate with their audiences, today we share relevant advice and key figures for a better understanding of Generation Z’s goals and needs.

Generational shifts are turning points for the evolution of different social groups. Young people transform the tastes and habits of their predecessors, either historically under a form of reaction or a continuity. 

Gen Zs are now aged 16-23, undoubtedly they face a completely different lifestyle dynamic to those of the last decades of the 20th century. Their new approach to life is not only due to the natural changes in the adolescence-youth transition, but it is also because the global environments are completely different than they used to be, the social interaction through technology is more present than ever, and the universal values are dictated to some extent by a tension between the individual and the collective. 

Fashion and lifestyle brands must be attentive to generational changes in order to understand the different buying motivations of this growing market segment and thus, offer them products and services that live up to their expectations. 

In recent years, Generation Z, or Zoomers as they are also known, have reclaimed the prominence of their predecessors the Millennials, also known as Generation Y. Gen Zs are the first demographic to have grown up with full access to the Internet and portable communication technology, and the world of apps at the palm of their hands. 

Some strategists have been asking themselves what it is that makes them different, or at least their motivations. To shed light on the subject, a Global Web Index (GWI) study, Gen Z Observing the Latest Trends on Gen Zs, examines  the digital behaviors of a generation that came of age in the information era, and labeled it as “highly digitally engaged”. The results of the study contain valuable information to have a complete overview of certain areas in the life of a Gen Z. Education, financial security, attitudes, and social landscape are some of the main topics explained in the research development.

For example, many Gen Zs are highly driven and altruistic, career-focused and concerned about their close environment, such as family, community, and their mental health. Most of them are still living with their parents, occupying the lowest income segment, but they are willing to take risks and get ahead inside the employment market.  

Gen Zs: Key Insights to Understand a Connected Generation

Their most distinctive interests are -on this scale- gaming, eSports, urban and modern art, dance, photography, fine art, adventure, extreme sports, vegetarian food, computers and coding, cosmetics, and the beauty industry. 

Gaming and eSports are crucial categories to be aware of. For example, 63% of respondents are interested in virtual plays. This practice is largely male-dominated with 62% and 37% interested in gaming and eSports compared to 40% and 15% of females, respectively. However, for either men or women, what it is for sure is that this type of group connectedness is on the rise. 

Battle Royale games (an online multiplayer video game genre) were played by 35% of Gen Zs in the last year, a true cultural phenomenon with titles such as Fortnite Battle Royale, Apex Legends, or the Call of Duty franchise. 

To describe some of their life attitudes, Gen Zs value authenticity and singularity, “standing out of the crowd” is important to them, meaning “brands should reciprocate their desire for exclusivity”. They are competitive and ambitious, 63% want to learn new skills to be successful and in general, they try to always have a positive attitude. 

Gen Zs display more self-awareness in tech use and are very aware of the anxiety caused by social media exposure and consumption. However, they take their privacy very seriously, as they prefer to be anonymous while navigating online or taking extra steps to secure their privacy options, as opposed to any other past generation. 

They spend 8 hours online daily -it increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic-, with a special interest in subscription services such as video streaming (Netflix, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video), and 42% of them are using their mobile to do so. Social interaction (in gaming and watching films) is really important to them, as they enjoy playing games or discussing movies with their real-life friends. 

The results inside the social media arena showed that YouTube “remains the most popular platform globally. Gen Z’s frequent interaction with vloggers is essential to the platform’s success”. They look to have “entertainment together” inside social media. In this context, the social media star is undoubtedly TikTok. “The number of Gen Zs in Europe who use TikTok daily grew by over 250% in the last year”,reasons  include  users wanting to find funny videos and to express themselves, among others.

Gen Zs will determine what’s “in” and will face the environmental challenges ahead. This generation wants businesses and brands to be committed to a cause. If we understand what they want and how they want it, it will be easy to connect with them and win them over.