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Gen Z, Millennials, and the Trends That Shape the Power of Their Voice Online


Generations are not a box, they are clues that help us understand how to connect with them, how to build trust, and ways to drive influence within their generation. On a webinar with Jason Dorsey, president of The Center for Generational Kinetics, and Yonder CEO Jonathon Morgan we dove into generational research and influence that these powerful generations are already having on the 2020 election and related issues — from the environment to the role they want brands to play in the society they’ve inherited and want to help reshape. Watch the recording and read highlights below:

Below are some key trends to help us understand these generations:

Parenting. We learn intentionally or unintentionally from our parents — Politics, saving habits, value of college, etc. Parenting is the most important factor in shaping generation and we rarely talk about it. 

  • Millennials’ parents are primarily Baby Boomers who raised their kids with the attitude “we want it to be easier for our children than it was for us.” And they succeeded.
  • Gen X are the parents of Gen Z. They told their kids “you will not end up like one of those Millennials.”

Technology. We want to understand each generations’ native relationship with technology because of how it affects how they experience the world — from education, to news, friendships, dating, etc.

  • Millennials are not tech-savvy, they’re tech dependent. They came of age as social media was coming out. They are wary about “influencers” and skeptical about the web and social media in light of security concerns and privacy issues.
  • Gen Z are digital natives. Their relationship with technology makes Gen Z the most consistent generation because of access to cheap, mobile technology. This is huge. Historically, affluent people with access to technology and social platforms were the ones who drove trends. Trends don’t start at the top anymore, they are being created from the bottom-up, from youngest to oldest… 

Buying Power & Brand Loyalty

  • Millennials have the most spending power in the US at over $1.4 trillion. They were driving home sales… and then COVID-19 hit. 64% are loyal to brands, 69% buy from brands that support causes they believe in but 38%  will drop brands that contribute to causes they disagree with.
  • Gen Z represents up to $150 billion in direct buying power and they influence $600 billion in spending globally. 55% are loyal to brands. 72% buy from brands that support causes they believe in but 31%  will drop brands that contribute to causes they disagree with.

Issues & Relationship with Government

  • Millennials care about climate change and they are tremendously impacted by student loan debt, which has delayed major life commitments for them. They have very low expectations of government but believe more in volunteering to serve a cause.
  • Gen Z cared about climate change the most for the last three years, but socials justice has jumped to #1 on their list. They know how to exercise their influence online and indeed, 72% of them believe they are part of a social movement even if they only participate online.