Essentials of Gen Z Consumers
April 22, 2022
Giana Damianos – Senior Analyst, Syndicated Research
Gen Z is America’s most diverse generation to date. About half of the segment is multicultural, and a quarter identify as LGBTQ+. Gen Zers today range in age from 10 to 25 – born between 1997 and 2012, making them the first digitally native generation. In their short lifetimes, they’ve witnessed rapid change and turbulent political, economic, and social crises – including coming of age in the unprecedented COVID-19 era. Their worldview has been distinctly shaped by all of these factors.
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Gen Z is a complex, multifaceted consumer group that’s often misunderstood. In fact, over half of Gen Z consumers are not satisfied with how people of their generation are portrayed in advertising.
Representation alone is not enough to prove that your brand cares about Gen Z consumers. Brands today must understand Gen Z on a multitude of levels—from their demographics, to how they identify, and even what they value—to effectively understand and engage them.
Collage Group’s Essentials of Gen Z Consumers explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics, identity, and Group Traits to help your brand authentically connect with Gen Z.
Key Takeaway #1: Demographics & Segment Context
Gen Z has the highest intrinsic diversity of any American generation. They’re about 50% multicultural, and about a quarter identify as LGBTQ+.
A Deeper Look:
Every succeeding generation in America has trended towards increased diversity. For Gen Z, this means that diversity is their “norm”, which gives them a unique perspective and worldview from what previous generations experienced.
Make sure that your advertising includes diverse representation and accurately reflects who Gen Z is. Recognize that for Gen Z, gen pop is diverse led.
Key Takeaway #2: Identity
As they continue to come of age, Gen Z is increasingly focused on expressions of Gender, Sexuality, and Race.
A Deeper Look:
Diversity is the norm to Gen Z, and they think about all the things that make themselves and their peers unique – not just race – with increasing attention. Gen Z takes an intersectional approach to identity and expects brands to do the same.
Take a multifaceted approach to portrayals of Gen Z’s diversity – giving unique identity to one individual beats showing many who are only differentiated on a single dimension.
Gen Z is highly expressive and proud of what makes them unique.
A Deeper Look:
Gen Z is the most inherently diverse American generation—both in terms of race/ethnicity as well as sexuality. This diverse upbringing has shaped their perspective to be more accepting of differences and individuality, therefore making them feel more comfortable “being themselves”.
Communicate to Gen Z that your brand is a proponent of their individuality. Give Gen Z the tools they need to be creative and help them show it off.
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Other Recent Gen Z Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group
Senior Analyst, Syndicated Research
Giana joined Collage in 2019 from Indiana University, where she studied economics, political science and psychology. In her spare time, Giana is getting to know Washington DC and its historic architecture.