Generation Z - US population and Psychographics
The U.S. Generation Z population aged 10-17 years old represent 26% or 85,142,176 members of society. The "U.S. Total Population Clock" count was multiplied by Nielsen's estimate that Gen Z was 26% of the population. Children that have grown after the 2008 recession tend to be more cautious, frugal, and are more ethnically diverse in the U.S.
Gen Z watched their parents struggle to keep their homes and to survive financially. They learned to rely on social media for information and entertainment. These technologically adept individuals are going to be very different from their Millennial parents in how they think and interact with the world around them.
Frugal trends can be seen by the 60% of Gen Z with savings accounts. These thrifty individuals have been found to be self-reliant "digital natives" who socialize, have fun, and learn in a digital world. They are "cyber savvy" with economic influence as determined by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
"HRC Retail Advisory surveyed 3,100 Millennial and Gen Z consumers" to find out who influenced Gen Zers to purchase items. 61% were following friends advice and 13% listen to bloggers and YouTube videos.
Psychographics for the Z Generation has been compiled from research provided by the news, studies by the U.S. Census, IBM research, HRC Retail Advisory Survey, Psychology Today articles, and social media reports.
These six terms were designed to show how the newest generation has evolved from their Millennial parents. Leaders from 2016 held five focus groups to uncover the mindset of Gen Z students displayed below:
DIY: DO IT YOURSELF
Parents of Gen Z listened to their parents by graduating from High School, participate in community service, and attend a four-year university. Unfortunately, the promised jobs and successful careers did not reward the Millennial to the degree that they expected. The children learned not to follow those rules. They are more self-reliant and can research anything because their parents were more like consultants than supervisors. The group can be more radical and is ethnically diverse as a whole.
GPA: GRADE POINT AVERAGE
The significance of the Grade Point Average has been increasing for high school and college-bound students over the past 40 years. There was a Bates College study that found that all a GPA means is that you will be successful in school but not for standardized test scores.
Students who place too much importance on GPA will experience anxiety even though requirements at some colleges are lower because of enrollment. Family stress accounts for the other pressure that teens experience today.
Adults are no longer necessary for teens to obtain information. Since Gen Z has never known a time without social media, they are sending and receiving more data than any group before them. Information overload has taken a toll on their psyches. Their brains have to process 10,000 bits of data every day. There is a major concern about some "fake" or damaging lies that is seen on social media sites. "A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention" per Herbert Simon. They need to develop filters for false information and to reject "friends" who can be cruel.
FOMO and FOLO
"The fear of missing out" and "the fear of living off-line". Angst and depression can be felt by Gen Z folks as they watch others lives online. They seem to experience a form of paranoia over what they perceive they are "missing out" on something. We are becoming more socially aware while losing our own self-awareness. Nike's logo "Just Do It" could be helpful for showing teens that are missing out on what is in their control.
OJT: ON-THE-JOB TRAINING
Gen Z people are planning to go to college; however, they also plan to begin working earlier than their parents did. They are going to do massive online and open courses internships, certificate programs, and gigs. Learning on-the-job is as important as earning a CPA to them. As Aetna's slogan says, "You don't join us. We join you" would be a good way to show them that you know vocational or tech schools can a good choice. Employers are adjusting their expectations these days.
OMG: OH MY GOSH
Emotions are high with Gen Z folks because they have more fake and disingenuous communications in social media. Impulsive remarks on Instagram or Twitter can generate a lot of emotion. Teens use terms like excited, positive, motivated, carefree, curious, or lazy to define themselves. Coca-Cola had a slogan: "Make It Real" and students claim to want authenticity, but might be more subject to false information. "Emotions make a wonderful servant but a poor master".
Gen Z will become the largest voting demographic of the 2024 elections. Their willingness to organize and mobilize is evidenced by recent current events. The group can be more radical and is ethnically diverse as a whole.
Gen Z are self-reliant individuals with a digital awareness, and ready to work attitude that is pragmatic and realistic. Children that have grown after the 2008 recession tend to be more cautious, frugal, and are more ethnically diverse in the U.S.