Gen Z: A New Generations With New Challenges for Brands

Gen Z already?

There are three major narratives floating about Gen Z:

2) Gen Z is not like millennials at all. They spend less, collaborate less, and care less about brand names.

3) Some combination of the latter. So, what is it?

Who Is Gen Z and Why Even Pay Attention?

What we do know for sure is this: Gen Z is still young and developing. The oldest of the Gen Z generation is just about to enter the workforce — that means late teens/early 20s. Gen Z grew up during the Occupy Wall Street Movement. They were young when 9/11 happened. They don’t remember life without the internet or social media. Now, they are a generation of about 70 million — the most diverse and multicultural of any generation before — and everyone is paying attention.

New Spotlight: Generation Z

Experiences Aren’t Forever

Our guess why? In a world of information-overload and constant availability, fleeting experiences feel unique and special. Brands that embrace the ephemeral might find new success with this generation — think experiential events, mixed medium, VR …experiences that allow individuals to shape them. This is exciting for brands who must step up with creative, innovative, fresh, and brief but lasting ways into this generation’s heart.

An Entrepreneurial and Innovative Spirit

This means businesses and brands are going to have to work hard to keep up. Innovation is even more of an expectation. Companies who want to attract young talent are going to have to work hard to tailor jobs that allow Gen Z to create, innovate, and disrupt.

Dreams With A Price Tag

Two interesting examples of brands who are catching on to this thrifty nature are Spirit Airlines (a budget airline) and Stayful (an app for competitive boutique hotel rates). Both brands pride themselves on transparency and value — in short, you get what you pay for. And both have found immense success with targeting this emerging generation.

It’s not necessarily that Gen Z is scared to spend, they just want to make sure what they are buying is worth it. This means brands who are transparent about value should find success with this younger generation as well. We also expect brands who are able to offer and demystify financial planning tools will thrive with this generation.

Brand Is A Given. It’s What You Do With It.

Like millennials, authenticity and transparency are values that sit at the heart of this. That’s why we see this generation trusting individuals more than institutions. That’s why this generation cares about what’s in the news surrounding the brands they buy from. And that’s why just sticking a logo on a clothing line is not going to cut it (not that it did before).

Brands who want to succeed today have to work even harder to build their brand from the inside out. Invest in the culture and the leadership that will drive you in the right direction. Adapt more transparent practices. Figure out new ways to personalize. Don’t just rely on a logo (Gen Z isn’t interested in being a walking advertisement). Say what you stand for and let people experience your brand in a different way — in their way. Recruit and retain talent that exhibits the creativity to do so. As Gen Z evolves and comes into view, we believe brands have a big opportunity to do the same.

Keep posted for more about this emerging generation and more.

Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy and design agency.

Originally published at on January 18, 2018.



Emotive Brand is a strategy and design firm: We work with executives to drive growth in revenue, brand, and culture #b2b #tech #b2c #product #growth #branding

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Emotive Brand

Emotive Brand is a strategy and design firm: We work with executives to drive growth in revenue, brand, and culture #b2b #tech #b2c #product #growth #branding