You’re likely well-versed on the behaviors and attitudes of Generations X and Y — but how much do you know about Generation Z, often defined as those born in 1995 through 2012? Though much of this cohort is still in diapers, they’re poised to be one of the most influential generations yet.
Here’s a compilation of data compiled from reports produced by the firms Sparks & Honey and Millennial Branding that all marketers should know about Gen Z.
1. They’ll redefine the “new normal.” Raised in a world free of many of cultural, religious and sexual stereotypes to which previous generations were exposed, Gen Z will change meanings behind stereotypes, and nullify data points about trends and behaviors among various racial and demographic groups.
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2. They’ve never a known a world without the Internet. Generation Z has never known a world without the constant connectivity and “instant gratification” that the Internet delivers. Raised with text message and social media “shorthand,” they prefer visuals to text.
3. Their share of the population will be larger than Gen X’s, Gen Y’s and Baby Boomers’. According to 2012 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Gen Z makes up nearly 26 percent of the population, compared to Gen X, which makes up about 15 percent.
4. They’re more accustomed to virtual environments than physical ones. Gen Z’ers have grown up in classrooms where online learning and virtual classroom environments are standard; reading from a tablet device versus a traditional book is their norm.
5. They consider social media channels a trusted and legitimate information source. Nearly half of Gen Z’ers conduct research assignments for school on YouTube.