In the first part, of this three part article, Generation Z: True Digital Natives, I addressed the issue of how Z’ers were the first ‘all digital’ generation. And how this influenced their views on consumption. In this Part, I further discuss this ‘generation gap’ and how the Gen Z’ers will impact the customer experience and further the employee experience.
Baby Boomers (those born 1940-59) are best represented by consumption as an expression of ideology. Gen X’ers (1960-79) consume via status. Millennials (1980-94) consume experiences. For Z’ers, the main consumption motivator is the search for truth. They search for authenticity to gain a greater expression of openness. For Gen Z’ers, the main point is for individuals to experiment with different ways of being themselves and shaping their identity.
For example, Z’ers are religious. 76% of them belong to a mainstream religion but they are also liberal. So, although they have religious beliefs they also align with non-religious themes. Thus, 20% do not consider themselves exclusively heterosexual, while 60% think same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children – both viewpoints polling much higher than prior generations.
Gen Z’ers are always connected, they are ‘true digital natives’. They filter tremendous amounts of information and influences. For them it is the ‘self’ that needs improving. 7 out of 10 feel it is important to defend causes related to identity, including: race, gender, and sexual preference issues. Z’ers are very inclusive and don’t distinguish between people met online and those met in the physical world.
39 % of Gen Z’ers expect companies to answer customer complaints the same day – the three prior generations felt that 52% of companies should fix issues the same day. Additionally, Z’ers are more pragmatic and analytical about their decisions than members of previous generations and are keenly aware of the need to save for the future and see job stability as more important than a high salary. They show a preference for regular employment vs. freelance or part-time work.
In the final segment to this series I’ll address the Z’ers consumption and its implications for companies.
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