Generation Z has become one of the most controversial, yet desirable markets companies have been seeking to acquire. Also called “Gen-Tech”, “Gen Y-Fi” and “the i-Generation”, people from Generation Z can often be classified by their deep connection to technology, instant access to information and desire for constant innovation. Although there have been disputes as to specific framework of the generation, the span begins anywhere from 1995 to 1997 and ends around 2015, give or take two years. The range of this generation has been disputed to be flexible as these post-millennials vary in their habits, nostalgia and fluency in past trends. Less public than their Generation Y counterparts, Gen Z has evolved to become more entrepreneurial, socially aware and health conscious. While the list of favorite brands spans far beyond this, we've collected the top brands for the past year.
"You haven't seen this? You should YouTube it."
With Youtubers as key influencers, YouTube has built a community with a continuous dialogue to Gen Z. YouTube offers a variety of content including (and definitely not limited to) top 40 music videos, movie trailers, talk shows, DIY videos, covers, live university study sessions, haul videos, tutoring sessions and unboxing videos. YouTube has become the go to platform for anything on Video. Almost every type of content has migrated to YouTube and while Generation Z has been known to love change, they also love finding variety in one place.
The overwhelming popularity of Oreo is almost unexplainable for a generation that loves innovation. However, it's Oreo's dedication to offering it's same core product that appeals to Generation Z. In an industry where companies are dedicated to constant change, brands like Oreo who take a more static approach build their reputation as a safety net. Post-millennials are so taken with Oreo because they've tried it, and they know they like it. Skip 20 years later in their life and the Oreo's they liked in 2008 still taste the same.
Generation Z users have fallen in love with Netflix, to the point of binging 4-season shows in one night, where their Generation Y counterparts would have to wait an entire week for an additional episode. The allure with Netflix is the constant and convenient access to a wide array of TV shows, documentaries and cinema. Beyond watching shows on a flexible schedule, Netflix's affordable rate makes it a no-brainer as to why Generation Z has become addicted.
Hershey's has skillfully mastered the balance between consistency and innovation. While keeping their original Hugs and Kisses, Hershey's has also released and reimagined additional lines alongside their faithful products. With just enough change to keep post-millennials interested, Hershey's captures the Generation Z market with both change and familiarity.
Like Oreo, M&M's dedication to consistency has done them well in the fight for Generation Z's brand recall. M&Ms have barely changed over the years, and are old enough to be considered a nostalgic memory for Generation Z. Growing up with an ad string of talking M&Ms has personified the brand for post millennials, who have carried the sentimental attachment from their childhood with them into adulthood.
From the Fitness movement of 2015, there has been an exponential rise in health consciousness. More people from Generation Z were visiting gyms on a regular basis, and Nike helped to spearhead this movement. Specifically popularized by Instagram workout videos, online influencers were sponsored by Nike to wear their products for these videos. The trickle down effects of Nike's influencer marketing was nearly flawless with post-millennials, who have adopted Nike as fitness currency.
Amazon speaks to all the desires of a typical post-millennial. Immediate and convenient access to a wide variety of product without social interaction has made online shopping both easy and addictive. As Generation Z had the privilege of growing up as global citizens, access to international content and products from almost all over the world has become routine. Where Generation X and Y may hesitate to mass shop online, it has become a norm, if not an expectation of the recent generation.
Almost 75% of internet users will specifically choose Google as their go-to search engine.
With the bulk of internet users coming from post-millennials on their mobile devices, it's a no brainer as to why Google dominates. Both Safari and Android search engines operate on Google by default, so unless strongly against using it, Google has become the norm for any internet search. No point in fixing something that's not broken, right?
Apple has created the i-generation, which also extends beyond Generation Z to Millennials as well. Customers are willing to wait all night to get the newest i-product. From the strong loyalty of Generation Y, the younger lot from Generation Z has been raised by their parents to swear by Apple products. Apple's commitment to continuous change and improvement is an excitement that has conditioned to post-millennials pursue change and self improvement.
Instagram has surpassed Facebook in the fight for Generation Z's attention. As a more private generation, post millennials have devoted their time and energy to creating a 'perfect' online presence that only showcases the best (and exaggerated) aspects of their everyday life. Instagram's sentiment image maintenance and controlling the narrative has resonated with Gen Z, as they've learned all the mistakes from Gen Y's excitement to post every intimate aspect of their life on social media.
The key for capturing the affections Generation Z in 2019 will be recognizing their need for immediacy, their intrigue with change, but their appreciation for vintage trends. However, the real secret these brands learned about targeting generation Z is the fact that they, like their interests, are always changing, so you should never use the same method to reach them.