Understanding Generation Z

16, May

Jeremy Finch reflects on Gen Z: who they are, what they want and how they expect to achieve goals. They are the ...

Jeremy Finch reflects on Gen Z: who they are, what they want and how they expect to achieve goals. They are the generation that follows Millennials and they already been labeled as “screen addicts” with serious attention snap’s problems.

Nevertheless, Finch questions these statements and claims that “while generational research is an inherently messy process—older generations study “the kids” to figure them out—much of the recent research is awash in normative preconceptions, biases, and stereotypes. Gen Z deserves a fairer shake, and the rest of us need a more nuanced conversation: This group makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and by 2020 will account for 40% of all consumers.” Therefore, “understanding them will be critical to companies wanting to succeed in the next decade and beyond.”

In order to actually understand Gen Z, Finch’s company Altitude developed a research attempting to see the world through these kids’ eyes.

The conclusions they reached were rather interesting. For example, Gen Z members do not really have an attention problem, they just filter information in very short periods of time –only 8 seconds-. The reason is that they are growing up in a world with limitless information, but also with limited time. So they just filter information very quickly, using the help of tools and apps. When something catches their attention, they become extremely focused and committed.

For companies this shall become a challenge as Finch states that “getting past these filters, and winning Gen Z’s attention, will mean providing them with engaging and immediately beneficial experiences.”

As regards their so called screen addiction, the truth is that Gen Z use social media to create and develop their personal brand. And they do so through social media because that is where their peers are.

As regards their professional aspirations, Gen Z do not want to follow the negative stereotypes of millennials. Consequently, they want to be recognized for their ability to work hard and their perseverance. Another skill they consider important is personal communication.

Finch says Gen Z members experience a tension between building their brands through social media and not being defined by it, and between seeking social validation and differentiating themselves. It is important that companies become aware and understand these tensions.

Also, Gen Z tend to be pragmatists. They rather have financial security than experience the thrill of entrepreneurship, quite unlike the generation that came before them. Gen Z see entrepreneurship as a way to avoid depending on anyone else. If they choose to start their own projects, they shall do so in single or double ventures. They also tend to plan ahead and aim to get a job in “growing and less-automatable areas, such as education, medicine and sales”, says Finch.

To read Jeremy Finch’s complete article click here..