What my kids and their friends are teaching me about Gen Z

Written by Tara Mulvany - August 2018

Let me start this blog by saying that I obviously don’t like to label or catagorise my children. But, due to the nature of my job I can’t avoid demographic segmentation. So according to marketing speak, I live with two Gen Z’ers.

Of course every Mother thinks her children are unique and individual. But I can’t help seeing commonalities between my kids and their peers that seem to be generally representative of this generation currently aged between 6 and 23.

These are the top 10 things I’m noticing that marketing and PR strategists should be rapidly adapting to:

 1. Diversity
This generation have gone beyond embracing diversity. They just live it, it’s natural. LGBTQ, young or old, black or white, girl or boy – who cares? Despite their young years, they’re quick to identify racism, sexism, ageism, bullying and homophobia. They won’t stand for being judged.

2. Environment

Gen Z’ers like nature and they respect it. It makes them feel happy. They worry about the planet and they know they have a responsibility to protect it.

3. They drink a lot of water
If you don’t have a litre size re-usable water bottle with you at all times, you’re just not cool. It’s probably very un-cool that I even notice that.

4. They’re not digitally doomed

Yes, they’re digital natives and yes they love it! But they’re also the first generation to be educated about the dangers of digital and social media, from fake news to cyber bullying. What’s more, books still matter to them. In fact, books like ‘Bedtime Stories for Rebel Girls’ and ‘Boys who Dare to be Different’ are influencing their tolerant outlook.

5. No more chicken nuggets
This generation are foodies and like to make their own food choices. They’ll give vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian a go. They’re well travelled and not afraid of having new food experiences.

6. TV is dead
Netflix and YouTube are providing all the on-demand entertainment and inspiration this generation needs. So why would they waste their time making a date with a box and sitting through boring ads?

7. They’ll take computer skills to another level
These guys are learning computer coding from a young age. That, coupled with their digital know-how, means their computer skills will go way beyond their millennial predecessors.

8. They’re comfortable in front of the camera 
I recently worked on a video with a group of kids aged 6 to 12. Every one of them spoke competently and articulately to camera – no rehearsals or cajoling required. That was a skill I had to learn in college!

9. They trust people not institutions 
This is the generation whose parents were seriously impacted by recession. They’ve been influenced by their parents’ institutional mistrust and strongly believe in the power of the individual.

10. They’re more cautious than impulsive 
They like to mind themselves and their money. So that means they wear their helmets and their high-vis jackets. They’ll also save their pocket money until they have enough to buy something that really matters to them.



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