In the beginning, it was all about Baby Boomers. After that, Generation X emerged to be followed by Millennials. But today, a new generation emerges in an ecosystem that is changing the entire business landscape. This is a generation that is ready and eager to be superior to Millennials and to every other generation combined.
We are talking about the most diverse and digital generation of people that the world has encountered so far, Gen Z. That’s why we need to analyze further how Gen Z affects the economy and the business environment.
What Type of Generation Is Z?
A generation that never experienced the world without smart digital technology and the Internet. They are much more than just energy and youth. In fact, Generation Z doesn’t label Millennials and older generations by their type. Instead, Gen Z aims to work together with all the generation groups in order to improve the world and achieve economic success for everyone.
If we look at Millennials as the test drivers of the latest technology and business trends, then we can say that Generation Z is the version 2.0 of Millennials. They have the latest tech gadgets in their palms, are hyper-connected, and eager to innovate.
And now, as the older generations accept Millennials as the biggest workforce in the world, Millennials will also have to be prepared to manage future employees who will soon step onto the scene: Generation Z.
Factors That Shape Generation Z
While the millennials still remain today’s driving force, Generation Z is ready to enter the workplace. It remains to be observed if they will have the same or even bigger impact on society as Millennials. But, as Gen Z evolves and grows, enterprises need to be aware of the ongoing shifts and try to make the best out of it.
With that being said, let’s have a look at some of the defining factors that shape Generation Z:
The Internet has changed the entire landscape. Today, everyone has access to desired information, which means that anyone can learn more and contribute to any given field. There wasn’t a single time in human history when the world had a resource as big as the Internet!
The Internet has quite simply become a necessity, we have to be connected 24/7 in order to keep up with the world around us.
Following Millennial Example
Marketers often group Generation Z together with Millennials because most of Generation Z was, until recently, still in their teens and college years. But in fact, Millennials learned a lot from Gen X’s mistakes, and as a result, they’re even more ready and aware of how to cope with the changes in the world.
Both of these generations are defined by tech, Millennials had the iPod and MySpace and today, Gen Z has the iPhone and YouTube.
You can learn the difference between Millennials and Generation Z by looking at how these groups of people are parented. Generation Z is predominantly parented by Generation X and, in a smaller part, by Millennials.
Gen X and Boomers have experienced lots of ups and downs as the world has changed a lot in 50 years, so it is understandable they tell Gen Z kids all about their experiences and lessons that they’ve learned, in order to prepare this generation for the world.
“He/She is from a different race/religion and doesn’t understand” does not exist in the Generation Z mindset and vocabulary. This generation overcame their differences and want to collaborate with people from different backgrounds and different parts of the world.
This is not just a trend, it also shows how socially responsive this generation is. Diversity leads to innovation and new ideas in the workplace.
Entrepreneurship has moved the world since the beginning of the 20th century. Today, entrepreneurs are like rock stars! The emphasis on Entrepreneurship is stronger and it is been reflected in how Generation Z operates.
As a matter of fact, a telephone survey from Gallup pointed out that 45 percent of students from fifth grade and above wanted to invent something that can change the world while the rest of them wanted to become entrepreneurs.
And with all the information, resources and marketplaces available today, the doors are wide open for them to conquer the marketplace.
How Times Changed with Generation Z
The entire ecosystem has changed with the emergence of Millennials and in particular, Generation Z. Brands and businesses are no longer in the game only for profit and to increase their capital. Now, companies have started to become honest about their intentions and actually care about the global perception of their brand and people’s opinions.
What Generation Z did to the world with the help of social media is nothing less than monumental! Generation Z has understood the power social media as a conversational platform that is actually an extension of their daily lives.
Generation Z constantly monitors whether or not corporations, brands, and governments care about the future of young people. This is because caring and doing good are the main connection points between brands and Gen Z consumers today. Even more important than product quality and benefits.
Millennials and Generation Z can praise, criticize, and empower brands to reconnect with their original missions and make people believe in their business purposes again.
How Do These Changes Affect Brands and Businesses?
Brands cannot be comfortable anymore wanting only to achieve profits and bigger salaries. People today remember and don’t forget what you did in the past. If you have a bad reputation, don’t expect people to believe you suddenly care about the world around you. Instead, you will have to earn the trust of Generation Z.
A socially-responsible mission should be deeply instilled in everything that your company does, from work processes to product manufacturing and customer experiences. Because if Generation Z customers don’t like what you do, and even more importantly, how you do it, they will let the world know about it before you can intervene and solve the issue.
That’s why it is essential to constantly engage and talk with your customers. You must be transparent about your approach. And you must become a brand that is all about action, instead of just words.
Generation Z does not value your brand just as a consumer, but as a potential future employee too. To attract a quality employee from the newer generations, you’ll have to have something that they are aligned with. You have to stand up for something good in this world and then Gen Z will join you.
As you can see, Generation Z is all about experiences. You can’t put a product on a shelf with a price tag and expect Millennials and Gen Z to come and buy it! You’ll have to sell the product experience. The problem that the product solves makes Gen Z consumers put their money in your pockets.
Every generation brings its own challenges to the table. These challenges can also bring opportunities for businesses. The impact of Generation Z is just getting started in the world. As an employer, you have to be enthusiastic about their impact on your business success.
Generation Z is not only the future of business. These young people are ambitious, passionate, and tech-savvy. You have to be prepared to incorporate these qualities into your business as a long-term investment in your company’s future.