On June 26th, Ypulse is Naming the Next Generation.* Every generation deserves its own name; and this generation has already had a unique experience from those before them, and so will be a completely unique group of consumers. It’s time to start thinking about what their needs and worldview will be, and what that means for brands. Tyrus Cukavac, Associate Editor/Producer for Scholastic News Online, is one of the thought-leaders who will be joining us to name the next generation and to speak about Being a Kid After Crisis: what the world is like for children after 9/11 and the financial meltdown. Today he’s sharing some of his thoughts on who they are, what makes them different, and why they need their own title.
*Register before June 1st to get the early-bird price, and you can give your own suggestions on what the next generation should be named here!
Ypulse: What do you think is the biggest difference between Millennials and post-Millennials?
Tyrus Cukavac: Millennials grew up straddling the two different worlds of two different centuries, and have had a chance to pioneer new ways of thinking and interacting with the world. Post-Millennials will be sailing in tested waters, and will have to find ways of improving on settled territory while reacting and adapting to any threats to this newly emerging status quo.
YP: What are the biggest forces currently shaping the post-Millennial generation?
TC: This generation faces an era of danger and uncertainty. Linear life progressions, at least in the United States, are becoming less of an option and post-Millennials are feeling the pressure of constant change at any given moment. They are going to come to rely on and trust existing systems that can minimalize the shock of these changes. Meanwhile, Gen X and older Millennial parents will be pushing post-Millennials to fortify and reinforce these systems with their own values.
YP: Why does the term “Gen Z” not suffice as the name for the post-Millennials?
TC: Post-Millennials are coming of age in a society that’s still trying to heal after a series of game-changing traumatic events such as the 2008 Financial Crisis. There are also going to be aspects of a more inclusive culture that they take for granted. These kids grew up with Barack Obama as their president and with unprecedented public support for gay marriage. It may be difficult for them to comprehend a past without widespread social equality. They need the space to navigate this landscape and come up with their own solutions based on the unique perspective they’re currently cultivating. Although they’re working within structures created by previous generations, their response to world issues will be unique and possibly radically different than a Gen Xer or Millennials’ response to the same problems.
YP: What is the one thing that brands need to know when thinking about the post-Millennial generation as consumers?
TC: Brands need to become companies that post-Millennials can trust. Post-Millennials face disruptions from all sides and will be looking to do business with safe companies with a proven track record that appear to have their best interests at heart.
YP: If you could name the post-Millennial generation right now, what would you call them and why?
TC: I would call them the Redaptive Generation. This generation is going to have to react and adapt to a shifting global and technological landscape. A lot of this reaction is going to take the form of trust in existing institutions, but post-Millennials will still be forced to adapt and renew these systems to deal with modern challenges.
YP: What are some of the new world issues that you think post-Millennials have to deal with that other generations didn’t?
TC: I think that the U.S. strategic pivot to Asia will have tremendous repercussions for the economic and political reality for post-Millennials. We’re no longer living in a world with one super power. Power is spreading across the globe and post-Millennials now have to deal with an increasingly connected and competitive world. It will be important for them to re-define and re-structure what it means to be American and figure out how this new identity will help them cooperate with other rising nations.
YP: What is one thing you know about Millennials that you think will hold true for post-Millennials as well?
TC: The influence of parents on both Millennials and post-Millennials cannot be overstated. As a result of this high level of parental involvement, both generations will have experienced socially open but otherwise sheltered and highly structured lives. This and the intellectual complexities of modern living have also caused/will cause both groups to delay the milestones of adulthood.
Tyrus Cukavac has been working in web media and production since 2006, when he joined the team of theU, a teen-friendly online source for college tour videos and university statistics. His work as a reporter for Scholastic Classroom Magazines has given him the opportunity to get an up-close look at China’s Terracotta Warriors, ride ATVs in the Arctic with NASA, and even interview tween stars Big Time Rush. Tyrus currently serves as an Associate Editor/Producer for Scholastic News Online, publishing a daily news story and producing digital issues of Scholastic’s classroom magazines.