the grass is greener on the internet

Move over Gen Y – Z is here
July 30, 2009, 10:41 pm
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…such was the title of one of yesterday’s cover stories in The Advertiser, my favourite local newspaper**.

I’ll let you read the article for yourself but basically it concerns reports by McCrindle Research on the characteristics of Gen Z (1996 to 2009).

The increase in child-bearing age and trend towards having less children apparently means that Gen Z will have a relatively mature outlook, more education and material possessions. However, there’ll be less of them.

It goes without saying that Gen Z will be digital natives just like Gen Y. The part which I’m curious about is the speculation that Gen Z will be more financially responsible than Gen Y.

We’ve already heard the gleeful pronouncements that this recession will teach feckless Gen Y to stop spending and start managing their money – a trait which has been attributed to us never having experienced a recession before. True, for most of us the last recession worth talking about was either just before we were born or when we were too young to be affected. Won’t this be the same for Gen Z though?

Surveys have already started trying to predict which industries the next generation will want to work in. This despite the fact that ‘Gen Z’ is only just starting to get to high school. They probably need to be taken in context of surveys done for ‘Gen Y’ fifteen years ago.

From a marketing point of view Gen Z will be difficult. If Gen Y is cynical, Gen Z will be completely desensitised. Viral campaigns will become something you are infected with once and then get over, like chicken pox. They’ll be highly educated and marketers who don’t respect that will get shot down. And when you’re constantly connected to your friends, negative word of mouth spreads quicker than the latest Facebook quiz.

I’m intrigued. Gen Z will be the first generation I get to analyse as an outsider as they grow up. Given my complaints about the generalisations we Gen Y are subject to, any bets how long it will be ’til I start using phrases like ‘young people these days’?

**token irony for the post.


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[…] gaps provide for interesting discussion and analysis of trends and movements. Generation Y is quickly being replaced by Generation Z, and Katherine Liew takes the opportunity to analyze an article in The Advertiser. [How Good You […]

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