June 14, 2024

Harness the Latest Gen Z Trends to Supercharge Your Marketing Strategy

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The Socially Conscious Generation

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, makes up about 20% of the US population as of 2023, according to the US Census Bureau. With an estimated $360 billion in buying power in 2021, this figure will likely increase as more Gen Zers enter the workforce. Known for their focus on mental health, sustainability, and racial equity, Gen Z leverages their tech-savvy nature to shape consumer habits and expectations.

What Matters to Gen Z Trends?

Mental Health and Social Issues 

Gen Z prioritizes mental health, with 53% of US Gen Zers wanting brands to support this cause, according to a survey by ICSC and Big Village. Environmental sustainability and racial and gender equity also rank high, with 47% of Gen Zers supporting these issues. LGBTQ+ rights and political activism are other significant concerns.

Sustainability

Budget-conscious yet environmentally aware, Gen Z’s interest in sustainability drives the growth of the resale market. According to thredUP’s Impact Report, 61% of Gen Z shoppers prefer to buy secondhand before considering new items. EMARKETER forecasts resale volumes to reach $108.64 billion in 2024.

Where Does Gen Z Spend Their Time Online?

Media Consumption: Gen Z blends media and technology seamlessly, engaging in activities like streaming video and music, and playing video games daily. EMARKETER predicts that 94% of Gen Z will stream video in 2023, with YouTube and Netflix as their top platforms. Podcasts and gaming are also increasingly popular among this generation.

Social Media: Social media is a crucial part of Gen Z’s daily life. Instagram is their top choice for direct messaging and Stories, while TikTok is the preferred platform for short-form video content. YouTube leads for long-form content, and TikTok is gaining ground with its foray into longer videos and livestreaming.

Gen Z’s Shopping Habits

Discovery and Purchasing: Social media and influencer marketing are pivotal in Gen Z’s path to purchase, particularly for beauty, clothing, and personal care products. While they discover products through platforms like TikTok and Instagram, they also value in-store experiences and recommendations from friends and family. Despite a strong digital presence, Gen Z remains cautious with their purchase decisions and avoids impulsive buying.

Gen Z Trends and Financial Services

Banking Preferences: By 2027, 97% of Gen Zers will use mobile banking, the highest among all generations. Social media significantly influences their awareness and research of banking products. Trust is paramount, with 52.5% preferring trusted brands for banking services. Gen Z also leads in adopting new payment options like mobile wallets and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services.

Generations Overview

Gen Alpha: Born from the early 2010s to 2024, Gen Alpha is the first generation entirely born in the 21st century, expected to surpass baby boomers in numbers by 2025. They are digital natives, drawn to authenticity, interactivity, and gamification.

Gen Z (1997-2012): A tech-savvy generation that prioritizes mental health, sustainability, and social justice.

Millennials (Gen Y, 1981-1996): Embraced the dawn of the internet and social media, valuing convenience and ease.

Gen X (1965-1980): Independent and tech-friendly, they value authenticity in brands and messages.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964): Known for their strong work ethic and brand loyalty, they have a significant impact on consumer trends.

Understanding these preferences and behaviors is crucial for marketers aiming to connect with Gen Z. This generation’s unique values and digital habits shape their consumer behavior and expectations from brands.

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