According to Open Mind Strategy research, these are the top things to know about the new kids on the block Gen Z:
Gen Zs make up more than a third of the world’s population and comprise nearly a quarter of the US population – bigger than both Millennials and Baby Boomers – and still being born.
2. The most diverse generation ever
Gen Z will be the last majority-White generation born in the United States. Already the white majority is holding on by a thread, only 51% of Gen Z born into non-Hispanic White families.
This generation’s diversity also extends to their sexuality and gender identity. More than one-third of Gen Zs self-identify as bisexual to some degree; more than half know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns.
3. They idolize Influencers, not Celebrities
Most dedicate more time to YouTube than any other social site and their view of celebrities isn’t limited to movie stars and musicians, note the billions of views racked up by YouTube stars RayWilliamJohnson and PewDiePie. They want to emulate self-made Influencers who are just like them.
4. A plan to get paid
While Gen Zs are certainly passion-driven, if they know their passions won’t lead to financial stability, they have a plan for something that will. In everything from entrepreneurship to sports, kids and teens are finding places to excel early and focus their efforts in hopes of a payoff.
5. Having safe fun
Gen Zs are still teenagers! They want to have a good time, but they don’t want to negatively impact the successful future they are working to build. The teen pregnancy and birth rate are at historic lows, as is the usage of cigarettes and heroin among high-schoolers.
6. Caring about “cool”
Gen Z is snarky and very image aware. With the ever-growing influence of social media, there is a palpable return of “cool kids” and “losers” among Gen Z. They will quickly take down a post that doesn’t receive enough likes for fear of someone seeing its lack of attention.
7. Don’t share everything online
Gen Z takes a crafted and curated approach to posts. They are more aware of who they are sharing their lives with and how it affects their identity, which is why platforms like Snapchat are so appealing. They saw the devastating effects party pics had on their sibling’s scholarship or job offer.
8. No Mo “Beta Boys”
Gen Z boys want to be taken more seriously. To them, girls are certainly equal, but not better. Gen Z boys want in on the partnership by taking themselves a bit more seriously in school, work and relationships, but also embracing their sensitive side.
9. Mostly cynical
Gen Zs have realistic expectations and are skeptical that the world will work in their favor. More than eight in 10 Gen Zs were born after September 11. Growing up, conflicts over issues like the economy, gun violence and climate change, have been common. As a result, these teens have developed a valid claim to cynicism.
10. Still KIDS!
This generation is just beginning to come of age, and as uptight as they may seem, they’re still kids who haven’t quite figured it all out yet. They’re working hard and taking themselves seriously, but they are still silly, young, fun and undeclared.
Open Mind Strategy, LLC, is a research and brand strategy firm founded by Robin Hafitz, in 2010, with the mission of providing “more human intelligence.” OMS (http://www.openmindstrategy.com/) provides insight services, including qualitative and quantitative research, brand studies, show and message testing, segmentation, and customized inquiries, as well as strategic brand consulting and educational workshops. The OMS team is proud to have worked with leading clients, such as A&E Networks, AMC, Amazon, Clear Channel, Condé Nast, Gannett, Kao Brands, MTV, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks, Unilever, USA Today, Yahoo!, and many more.