April 5, 2022
1st Digitally Native Generation
One demographic currently accounts for about 20% of the population in North America and is the most media intelligent group of all.
They are Gen Z. This diverse, digital-native group literally does not know the world without social media and their smartphone hand extensions. While the Millennials who came before them were knocked for acting ‘entitled’, Gen Z seems to be viewed in a more positive light. Some suggest that seeing their parents experience the 2008 recession and its fallout, may be one reason why they’re regarded as being more pragmatic and having more realistic expectations.
Another factor that makes Gen Z different, is that they look for brands that are value driven. They don’t want the latest products at any cost. They want to know if a company is ethical, and if it respects its employees and the planet. They support social justice initiatives and want their brands to, as well. Social media is space where all these values and beliefs intersect. With rare exception, Gen Z gravitates toward peer influencers for ‘authentic’ relationships as opposed to highly paid celebrity endorsements or polished ads. Influencers and independent creators can also bridge the gap between big brands and Gen Z, if they are allowed to be themselves and share their real opinions. Food for thought.