After a decade of Millennial obsession, the marketing world is increasingly buzzing about the next generation around the corner — Generation Z.
Studies highlight their buying power of $44 billion, that they’ll be 40% of the population of US, Europe, and BRIC by 2020, and that they are naturally immune to advertising. Agencies are lining up to offer tools and tricks for brands to “engage” with Generation Z.
And yet, as with Millennials, I’m not sure how useful these broad-brush generational stereotypes really are. Generations are not monoliths. Can a generation-level insight really help a brand engage with such a large and diverse group of people in a meaningful way?
I heard an expression somewhere that “it’s like saying everything living in the ocean is a fish.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years.
Who else should we target?, August 2014
Marketing to Generation Z, March 2015
4 CommentsJoin the Discussion
Steve Willson says
Demographics is relatively useless by itself. By finding the job that your target is trying to buy your product for, the needs and pains they have, you’ll be able to provide them with products and services they really want and need.
Saqib Dareshani says
On point Steve Wilson – key point being ‘Job the product/service will be used for’
Evan Dunn says
Ha! This is great – and I agree: generations are not monoliths (well said). People get funny when talking segmentation. Behavioral psychologists must cringe when broad brushes are applied, and sociologists probably choke when someone says “demographics are useless…” (see earlier commenter). It’s amazing how rare it is for a brand to test and learn what parameters actually indicate affinity for their products. Great work Tom, as always.
I feel like those are exactly the same things that were said about Millennials ten years ago. And about GenX 30 years ago.