The time of millennials is gradually shifting to make a place for Generation Z. This surely is more than just a newly coined term today. In fact, businesses are evolving to satiate the needs of this new and upcoming generation. Organizations are pulling up their socks to understand them, their lifestyle and growing habit. And most importantly, the way Generation Z is reshaping technology consumption.
As a matter of fact, Gen Z is witnessing a time when game-changing technological advancements are supposedly at their peak. This makes a lot of difference in their perception of innovation, business, and lifestyle. Generation Z believes that smart devices are meant to be within an arm’s reach. No wonder they are spending an average of more than 3 hours on smartphones! This actually defines the way they solve their problem, access world information, build networks, communicate and connect, learn, purchase and earn their living. Let’s get to know them more!
So, who are the Gen Z?
According to Wikipedia’s definition, generation Z is the demographic cohort that comes after the millennials, typically denoting the generation born between the 1990s to mid-2000s. The Gen Z people are the ones who are most comfortable with technology and social media and almost all of them have used the internet and consumed smart devices since a young age. The fact is, the new-age marketers have only just begun to understand this generation and its stark differences from the millennials.
What do they believe in?
The generation Z folks have grown through varied times, and their minds are shaped by offbeat experiences. Their outlook of the world is as unique as their perspective of money and technology. For them, technology is not a necessity, it’s a way of life and an extension of their own selves. The smart devices are a way to keep them connected with the rest of the world. Raised by the Gen X parents (and not the baby boomers), the folks of this generation have a realistic approach with a pragmatic behavior towards solving a given problem. Many might take them as rash decision makers but in actuality, they take fewer risks than the millennials and mostly believe in security and stability when it comes to finances and careers.
How Gen Z perceives technology?
Various forward-looking organizations have conducted studies and researches to find out that the generation Z treats technology as something that is as obvious as the presence of their right hand. As per a global news survey, a massive 96% of generation Z owns a smartphone and spend around 6 hours a day online. For them, it is not an addiction as they have never known about living without these smart devices in the first place. Generation Z is constantly connected, and technology is integrated into every aspect of their communication. Innovations don’t perplex them, and they surely come with improved grasping power when it comes to cutting-edge technologies and their applications.
How do they communicate?
Also, when it comes to communications, Gen Z is more into video calls through apps like FaceTime, Snapchat, Skype and Google Hangouts as they prefer sound, movement, and full sight. Hence, technology plays a more intuitive and spontaneous role in their day-to-day life where these youngsters have grown to prefer real-time communication with their inner circles. Their innate familiarity and dependency on internet usage influence the way they involve their personal lives with their digital experiences and online reputation.
So, what are the tech-gadgets and information sources that they are up to?
Social media and messaging apps: The hyperconnected Gen Z is pretty much used to spontaneous engagements, relationship-building, and communications with not only their inner friend circles but with companies as well. They don’t find it surprising to use messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat, Facebook messenger, Skype, iMessage, FaceTime, and many others. In several surveys conducted by independent organizations, they have expressed their likeliness towards chatting and video-calling over meeting the people physically. Gen Z takes their social media profiles and engagement more seriously than the millennials; no wonder they explore platforms like Instagram, Twitter and YouTube like nobody else.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality gadgets: Virtual reality devices like Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear are growing in popularity amongst the gen Z. This is evident as the weekly usage percentage of AR devices by the youngsters seems to be increasing recently. Phone-based AR/VR apps like Pokemon Go, stargazing apps and other interactive apps and games, entice this generation and hook them up on a daily basis. In short, they are intrigued to explore these AR/VR gadgets and intelligent devices. Mostly, because of the immersive experience, visual delight, and intelligent entertainment these gadgets provide.
Wearables, smart clothing, and hearables: Experimenting with cutting-edge technological advancements and inventions don’t scare them but being realistic they take calculative risks. This implies that they are going to be the hottest target market for futuristic wearables like smartwatches and eye gears. Companies are already aware of their attitude towards innovation. Their opinions and preferences are definitely going to dictate the market decision-makers while introducing and promoting ideas around uber-cool products like smart connected clothing (geared with trackers, app sync-ups, sensors, and AI) and hearables like Bragi Dash pro, Apple AirPods, Samsung Gear IconX, Waverly Labs Pilot, Nuheara IQbuds, Jabra Elite Sport and so on.
What the companies must keep in mind while dealing with generation Z
It’s unavoidable for the companies to ignore how this latest generation behave themselves in their perceived workspace. It is important to understand their approach to work, sense of fulfillment, life priorities and economic goals – after all, companies are going to interact with them, either as employers or service providers. So, the following are some of the proven facts about Gen Z, which can come handy for the companies:
They love cool products more than fine experiences: Unlike the millennials, Gen Z youngsters prefer really useful and relevant products over beautiful experiences. Being more realistic and pragmatic, they always seek for products and solutions that serve their core purposes and needs in the quickest way possible. This new generation of youngsters are also more into BUY than DIY and try to obtain things that get works done for them without much fancy or jazz.
Gen Z is the evolved entrepreneurial tech-natives: Being the first digital natives, Gen Z has grown up with technology and several studies refer that 55% of them would want to have their own business. They are more creative, innovative, self-reliant, reasonable, confident and entrepreneurial by nature and are ready to take calculated risks. All these traits naturally make them think differently when it comes to pursuing a career or behaving in a workspace.
Edginess and authenticity in communication attract them: Youngsters belonging from this generation are far from finding peace in a monotonous and mundane life. They come out of their comfort zone and love to explore peculiarities either in terms of products or options of livelihood. When it comes to communications, they always prefer to connect and interact with a real and authentic person who they can see and talk to, in order to build trust and share experiences.
Gen Z is ever-creative culture co-creators: The Gen Z might appear as a bunch of youth with a cold and self-centered attitude, it will be unfair to perceive them as such. In fact, they are more successful in hitting a balance between practicality and creativity, honesty and diplomacy, technology and humanity. They are basically reshaping the cultural framework at many organizations while driving the aspects of intelligent leadership, innovation, versatility, inclusivity, and fairness at work.
They have a thing for technology-based entertainment: The meaning of digital experience is evolving for Gen Z as they go beyond seeking information alone from online sources. These youngsters expect to be entertained. Gen Z primarily uses the internet for entertainment. Once they find satisfaction at that level, they will openly share their specific experiences with the chosen people, through selected digital channels. They expect technology to drive communication that is humorous, authentic, transparent and personalized.
Gen Z youngsters are born and brought up in an era full of complexities and chaos. This makes them understand both the good and the bad sides of technology and IT consumerization. According to a study made by Deloitte, they will seek work-life balance and will be associated with companies that will allow them to have a fulfilling life with higher importance to physical, mental and social well-being. They are unpredictable and are fully in control who knows when to unplug a gadget or draw a line, for greater life purposes. Gen Z people have a shorter attention span, will take spontaneous yet relevant decisions and will believe in total flexibility and transparency at work and in life. More and more organizations today are making honest efforts to understand and communicate with Gen Z in order to have a sustainable growth strategy driven by change and progress.
Lead Market Analyst
Sonali brings over 10 years of practical experience in analyzing, exploring and writing for information technology, enterprise software, business strategy, technological innovations, enterprise mobility, digital technologies, and business sustainability. With an extensive background of working with global IT and software companies, she maintains a customer-centric, value-driven and problem-solving approach in her write-ups. Sonali is currently working for Scalefusion.