– Michael, Marketing Project Manager
What Does Gen Z Mean?
To know the meaning of Gen Z, you first have to know the dates that define the generation itself. While most people agree that the line between Millennials and Generation Z is 1996, every generation has a little debate about the date ranges for when the generation starts and ends. Gen Z is no different, but there is an important historical event you can use as a milestone to determine whether or not someone is in Gen Z.
The attacks against the United States on September 11th, 2001, were a defining global event that not only impacted our immediate lives but also defined a generation and laid the path for generations to come. Chances are, even the youngest Millennials will have some direct memory of the events on that day. If not, then you’re likely Gen Z.
Gen Z Meaning
Aside from major events, every generation has different characteristics that define them. The scope of characteristics can range from work ethic to cultural and political views to lifestyle habits. For this comparison, let’s review what technology means to each generation. Baby Boomers and Gen X won’t need to be included. Yes, many are more than proficient users of technology. Their generations were also instrumental in creating the framework for the tech we enjoy today. However, technology doesn’t hold the same impact on their lives and behaviors as it has for the generations after them.
In just comparing Millennials and Gen Z, you will still notice significant differences between their relationships with technology. Millennials are well versed in navigating the internet. However, we can remember when AOL delivered the internet to our house on discs –– through the mail –– and then we had to install the software on our computers. Once installed, you had the privilege to “dial-up” and wait for the “worldwide web” to load. However, with Gen Z, the internet is always on. Always.
With an “always-on” internet connection thanks to Wi-Fi and mobile hotspots, internet consumption has become another defining characteristic of this generation. The first iPhone launched in June of 2007, providing Gen Z with the power to communicate and disseminate information with not only those in their contact list but with a global community. All kinds of information, accessible from the palm of your hand. You could even make a phone call WHILE you’re looking up information on the internet. Ask anyone Millennial or older what happened when you tried to make a call and be on the web at the same time. (Fun Fact: They can hear the screeching noise the modem made when the phone was picked up just by reading this sentence. Just another way to determine if someone is Gen Z or not). Gen Z has never known a time before computers or cellphones, so you won’t be shocked to learn that Gen Z was originally considered the iGeneration.
With the internet always available and technology always at hand, how Gen Z communicates with the world and how we communicate with them varies dramatically from older generations. Baby Boomers were served traditional ads in print media, radio, and on TV, Gen X watched advertisements on television. Gen Z is digesting the same kinds of ads, but they’re viewing them primarily on YouTube and through apps. That’s why businesses must rethink their tactics when targeting members of the first genuinely digital generation.
To learn more, stay tuned to Serenditpit’s blogs on how to market to Gen Z. Or if you’re ready to dive in and get your business in front of that demographic give us a call or email us at [email protected] – you’re in the right hands!