Mandatory Money Battles: Millennials vs. Gen Zers
Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill (Getty Images)
The battle for the dollars of millennials and Gen Zers is approaching its peak among brands desperate for a financial boost. The spending power of Gen Z is primed to surpass the millennial generation and prove that only one generation can rule the economy and make advertisers grovel.
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If the Fyre Fest cluster-eff taught us anything, it’s that both generations are highly influenced by social media, specifically Instagram and Snapchat. Millennials were grandfathered into social media-influenced spending, but Gen Z snapchattergrammers have lived their whole lives online, and companies want to capitalize on their internet addictions.
Gordon Gekko types are trying to figure out how to gouge Gen Z, but there are a few trends they should consider before they dip their bobbers in the water. We’ve put together a cheat sheet that will help distinguish between millennials and Gen Zers.
Cannabis Is King
Weed has gone mainstream. It's no longer your father's reefer madness. Gen Zers were born with legalized/less stigmatized Mary Jane. It's a booming Gen Z market.
Millennials And Gen Zers Love Socially Conscious Brands
Gen Zers especially wants to see how the sausage is made, as long as the company is socially woke and stands for justice.
Thrift Store Shopping Is A Real Thing
Used, vintage clothing is back in fashion for the xennials (people born on the cusp of the end of the millennial generation and the beginning of Generation Z). Rapper and millennial-whisperer Macklemore was onto something: larger-chain clothing companies have taken a hit in the last two years, due to consumers' interest in environmental issues, ethical practices, and general resistance against "The Man."
Online Shopping Is Lit
Sure, we've all bought pants that don't fit from an an online store. But how about your groceries? Gen Zers don't ever need to leave the house, nor do they have a desire to. We're closer to real-life Idiocracy every day.
Social Influencers Are The New Mad Men
Social media platforms will no longer be a roller coaster of emotions and a sprawling wasteland of narcissism. Gen Zers wants to see companies and leaders walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Socially influenced transparency is key. Who makes us feel warm and fuzzy about what we're buying?
There's Some Good Out There
Authentic charitable philanthropy derived from a social media platform is so Gen Z. Example: actor Noah Centineo uses his massive social reach as a platform for good deeds. His push to restore the world to its naturally clean environmental state is so Gucci.
E-Gaming Is Huge
Fortnite, the first-person adventure e-game with characters who "floss" is the new "go outside and play." Over 50 universities offer gaming programs.
The Kardashians Are Still Here
They won't go away. The most influential family ever to start an Instagram account is still everywhere. If they're pushing the product, it's golden, unless the product is a former professional athlete.
Seriously, They Won't Go Away, Ever
Kylie Jenner puts up billboards for her hubby's birthday. Who does that? There's nothing else to say here.
Politics Intersect With Millennials And Gen Zers
Gen Zers and millennials lean more liberal than previous generations, and companies and investors are taking notice.
Can You Customize It?
Gen Zers demand customization in every marketplace. Even the snozzberries will taste like snozzberries.
Food Options Will Change
Meat is out, veggies and plant-based diets are in. The pendulum started swinging with millennials and Gen Zers will knock down the door. Farm-to-table, artisan, cage-free, non-GMO, hand-crafted consumables are all the rage. Where did it come from, how did it get here, who touched it, and what did you put on it? Namaste.