Why Generation Z Are Different To The Rest Of Us, And Why You Need To Pay Close Attention To Them Now
They grew up never knowing a pre-9/11 world, the age of austerity was just normal to them as they had never known anything any different.
But that’s not all.
Imagine being freaked out by an internet dial-up tone or wondering what a landline signal is? Or how about not knowing a world without the internet or the smartphone?
Anything which came before is in the past, they can only relate to it by reading about it; not through their own experience and memory of it.
Yes, by now of course you know who I’m referring to: Generation Z or as they’re sometimes known – the iGeneration.
They're already the most influential group of technology trendsetters and they offer the best preview of future trends, such as technology usage, communication, banking, and shopping patterns.
For them there is no such thing as a work / life balance; it’s just a work / life blend and it is ongoing 24 / 7. You see, for them, the concept of the workplace is different too; anywhere they are online is the workplace.
“Technology is only new if you remember it the way it was before”
Jason Dorsey, Centre For Generational Kinetics
Driving a pace of change previously unheard of, they are one of the biggest disruptors in retail today. For them, technology isn't driving the experience, technology IS the experience.
It is for this reason why so many retail brands are failing: they are run by Generation X and Baby Boomers whose judgements and decisions are informed by their own perception of the world, informed by their own experiences.
According to Jason Dorsey, President of the Centre For Generational Kinetics based in Austin, Texas, technology is only new if you remember it the way it was before. For Gen Z they don’t have this memory so view technology in a completely different way.
And it would be a grave mistake to think of Gen Z as teenagers and twentysomethings with no real spending power or influence.
Here’s the thing: the greatest predictor of the behaviour of older generations is found in what Gen Z are doing today.
Ignore them at your peril!
Want to know more? Join Purple Square & Retail Reflections over breakfast to hear how you really should be engaging with Gen Z. Register for free here
Andrew Busby is a former retailer, Founder & CEO of Retail Reflections and an IBM Futurist.