Gen Z, the generation after Millennials, are about to explode onto the scene. Currently, the oldest members of the generation are graduating college, and they’re poised to enter the workforce en masse. Plus, they hold an astronomical amount of spending power. But don’t mistake them for the next wave of Millennials.
“Everybody expects the generation to be simply a continuation, as if Gen Z is a more extreme example of Millennials — that’s not true,” explained Millennial and Gen Z expert Jason Dorsey in a recent article with Global News.
4 Gen Z Characteristics You Need to Know
1. Want to Work Hard to Prove Themselves
Dorsey explained that when this generation “comes of age,” they are expected to work longer and harder in order to become successful. “This is a rebuttal to a sense of entitlement that unfortunately has been attached to Millennials,” he said.
2. Cautious About Spending and Saving Money
“Gen Z caught the aftershocks of [the recession], so they are able to learn from it in a way in which they want to be more careful with their money and preparing to work harder and longer,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey added that research has already shown Gen Z is more frugal than other generations. “We find they are choosing not to buy premium brands, but they rather pay for quality. They are very utilitarian.”
Dorsey also said that Gen Z spends more time comparison-shopping, as well as rating and reviewing the products they intend to purchase.
3. The First TRUE Digital Natives
Millennials may be fully dependent on technology, but Gen Z is truly tech-savvy. They were born into a world where the internet and smartphones are the norm, and the only world they know is one that is utterly connected and digital. Gen Z uses technology for everything from communicating with friends to shopping to doing homework.
4. Demand Instant Gratification.
The ubiquity of technology and the internet comes with its downsides.
“One barrier is the immediate gratification,” explained 18-year-old Connor Blakley, founder of YouthLogic in Cleveland, OH. “It makes us less patient, which can have an impact on everything from waiting in line at a restaurant to the speed at which we want things to happen. We’re used to getting things from social media and technology whenever we want, so being forced to wait isn’t the easiest.”
Whether you’re a manager looking to hire Gen Z employees, a consumer brand looking to attract Gen Z customers, or anywhere in between, knowing these four hallmark characteristics can make you more attractive to this enigmatic generation.
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