5 Ways Gen Z’s Childhood Is VERY Different From Yours

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Generations are shaped by the events of their childhood, and Gen Z’s upbringing doesn’t look anything like yours…

Gen Z is entering adulthood. As we’ve defined them, the first of Gen Z was born in 2001, meaning the oldest members of the generation are turning 18 this year. But as they age into new life stages as a generation, and brands pay more and more attention to them, it’s vital to look at how they’ve grown up. We’ve told you some of the things that we’ve learned about the generation in the last year, including that they’re shopping with their morals in mind and that they’ve got a bit of a dark side—but some of the biggest differences between generations are built upon the historical context that each has. For example, Gen Z is showing they’re a more practical group, because they were shaped by the economic hardship of their childhood.

While most Millennials remember a time before the Great Recession, 62% of 13-17-year-olds say they don’t, meaning they grew up with a heightened sense of social and cultural anxiety that Millennials didn’t experience. Frugality is top of mind for them, and they approach shopping and brands with a very different mindset.

But that’s not the only thing that has distinguished this generation's upbringing from those before them. Here are five more ways that Gen Z’s childhood is very different from yours:

1. They’re on Social Media Before They’re Born

A lot of attention is paid to how much time teens are spending on social media, but while Millennials also spent (ok, spend) a huge amount of their time on social platforms, Gen Z has grown up with something unique about their digital presence: they’re the first generation to appear on social media before they’re even born. Parents start posting photos of their kids from the sonogram on, usually before…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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