One of the largest, most influential consumer groups in the current marketplace is Generation Z. This generation, also known as Centennials, encompasses the global youth population, a group comprising millions of youth eager to make their mark on the current culture. These young yet very influential consumers are passionate about maintaining brand authenticity and originality while simultaneously avoiding blatant materialism. Those who are part of Generation Z are an entirely unique generation, and as they grow older and mature, their interests and personal goals are also changing. It is imperative that brands and marketers continually monitor these changing trends so that they can successfully market to Generation Z.
Passions and Gen Zers
When a group of Gen Zers, ranging in age from 13 to 17, was asked to list their biggest passions in life, their resulting answers help to provide marketers invaluable insight into the mindset of many youth and consequently the future of marketing to Centennials. For the polled Gen Zers, the top result for the biggest passion in their lives was music. For most Centennials, music is an incredibly important component in their lives. It is rare to see a teenager going about their day without headphones listening to their favorite artist. In the current culture, music is not simply an addition to everyday life. It plays an integral role in everyday life.
This prevalent passion for music has resulted in the popularity of many music apps as well as led to the discovery and resulting popularity of numerous unsigned musicians. While many generations claim to have a passion for music, the differentiating factor for Centennials is that they do not want to pay for the music they listen to. Today, many music-streaming services provide users the ability to listen to music without paying for each song that they listen to.
Passions and Gender
Subsequently-ranked passions named by Gen Zers, such as sports and fashion, differed slightly in order based on gender. For Gen Z males, sports ranked high on the list, while for Gen Z females, it came in 5th place. In addition, for Gen Z females, fashion tied with sports for 5th place, while it was not even in the top five for Gen Z males. These passions for each gender seem to align with traditional gender interests, but it is worthwhile to note that while the actual ranking varied for each gender, the specific passions were almost the same for both genders. For Gen Z males, their top five passions included sports, music, gaming, food, and fitness. For Gen Z females, their top five passions encompassed music, fitness, food, art/photography, and sports & fashion. For marketers, it is helpful to remember that Centennials share most of their passions in common, even if the actual ranking differs slightly for each gender.
Passions and Generations
However, when Gen Z’s passions are compared with those of Millennials, it becomes evident that the overlap between the two generations is quite significant. For both generations, music is listed as the leading passion. However, when comparing some of the other stated passions, it is apparent that many of the differences between the two groups arise simply because of age and maturity. For example, such passions as health/wellness and politics/social justice ranked high on the list for Millennials, while movies and games ranked in the top ten for Generation Z.
Despite these slight differences between generations, most of the specified passions were similar. For example, such passions as food, fashion, fitness, books/reading, and art/photography were claimed by both Centennials and Millennials. It is important to note that while differences exist between and within generations, similarities are increasingly prevalent. In order to effectively reach this consumer base, marketers must continually monitor the trends of these passions as well as stay current with Gen Z culture so that brands know how to successfully engage with this powerful generation.
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