The me-conomy exists because of the shift in power from brands to people across demographics and nowhere is this change more evident than in the behavior we see from Gen Z. The youngest named generation already holds an estimated $143B in buying power and will soon make up 30% of the workforce. Along with millennials, Gen Zers are seeing an increase in spending power and are ready to spend their extra money well beyond pre-pandemic levels.
We’ve rounded up some of the key stats that will help you understand Gen Z and how they are affecting (and are affected by) the me-conomy.
Gen Zers are diverse and educated
Gen Zers see themselves as well-rounded individuals and are more likely to be non-white and college educated than any generation before them.
58% see themselves as global citizens rather than citizens of their own country
48% of American Gen Zers are non-white (making them the most diverse generation so far)
59% enroll in college after finishing high school and they are on track to be the best educated generation
Gen Zers are digital natives
Gen Z is the first generation to grow up surrounded by digital/smart devices. Their entire lives, including educational, communication, shopping, and social habits, have been saturated in and shaped by technology and hyper-connectivity.
64% use their phone to shoot and distribute content
Gen Zers don’t watch linear TV
Gen Zers have mostly rejected traditional TV, but they spend a lot of time watching online videos. Some of this time is dedicated to ad-free streaming services, but Gen Z spends the largest portion of their online video watching time on YouTube (which is also the #1 streaming platform for music).
Gen Zers are used to seeing marketing messages everywhere they look. These digital natives are also used to messages that have been tailored to fit their preferences and interests—and they prefer it that way.
62% would rather see ads personalized to their likes and activity rather than generic ones
71% would like to see more diversity in advertising
Gen Zers have a complicated relationship with brands
Many Gen Zers are still developing their personalities and preferences and have not made lasting connections with brands . . . yet. They have, however, already shown a strong preference for socially responsible brands with well defined values.
62% worry about how their data is being used by companies
64% believe brands should offer personalized experiences
33% have stopped buying from a brand because of contributions to a cause they disagree with
Gen Zers love quality, personalization, and immediacy
Gen Zers have grown up in a world of immediacy and personalization, and their purchase decisions reflect this. They are also quality conscious and will shift their loyalty if they believe a product or brand has worsening quality.
Gen Zers don’t carry cash and prefer immediate transactions [source: ANA]
66% say product quality is most important factor in purchasing decisions
75% are more likely to to buy products that include personalization
58% are willing to pay more for products that include personalization
68% are willing to pay more for ethical, sustainable products
72% have made an online purchase in the past month (on any device)
61% have made a purchase using mobile in the past month
41% have used their phone to make an in-person purchase
More than ⅔ would make a purchase directly from social media channels
Gen Zers are social media savvy (shocker!)
In addition to being digital natives, Gen Zers have largely grown up in a world where online social circles are just as real as in-person friends. They regularly interact with friends, family, and brands through social channels.
74% are interested in discovering new and emerging artists
Billie Holiday, Selena, and Grateful Dead all ranked among the top most discovered artists among Gen Z users
Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance initiative was designed to hearken back to the company’s long-running commitment to quality while looking to the future. For Acura, “Precision Crafted Performance” is less of a slogan and more of a mantra. From design to engineering to production to marketing, the brand is invested in centering customer experience and delivering the highest quality vehicles.
In an effort to reach younger, newer drivers, MAX helped Acura identify several artists who aligned with Acura’s message (a commitment to quality, innovation, and value) and created a series of niche campaigns that also appealed to Gen Zers’ love of personalization and individuality. The campaign was promoted across a mix of media and social channels, meeting Gen Zers where they already spend their time. Acura gave fans intimate live experiences with their favorite artists that felt tailor-made for them. They also generated leads by offering fans the chance to win exclusive VIP experiences with unique breakthrough artists who embody the Acura brand.
Gen Zers (much like Millennials before them) aren’t some enigmatic, unknowable, mysterious monolith. The best way to understand Gen Zers is to see them the way they see themselves: as unique, diverse citizens of the world, guided by values and a sense of social responsibility, tech savvy, but grounded in reality.