A STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE REPORT THE ISSUE // GENERATION Z
3 5 9
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
GROWING UP GENERATION Z
GEN Z & THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
11 14 15 19
ENTERTAINING GEN Z YOUNG MOOLAH
TAKING THEIR BALL & GOING HOME
GEN Z + DIVERSITY
IT'S NOT A PINK & BLUE WORLD
SOCIAL MEDIA: THE NEW PLAYGROUND
GEN Z: A NEW MOVING TARGET
THE WAKE UP TEAM
PHOTO CREDITS 2
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
At the risk of appropriating the questionable wisdom of David
As a card-carrying member of Generation X, I’m admittedly
Wooderson, the lovable letch played by Matthew McConaughey in
biased on the subject, but I am fascinated by how different we
Dazed and Confused, what I like most about young people is that as
are from Boomers in our approach to parenting. Drawing on some
I get older, they stay the same age.
broad generalizations, Gen X’ers are grounded individualists, while Boomers are optimistic populists. And those traits have greatly
See, we’re in the business of ideas; creativity is our stock in trade.
influenced how we raise our children.
And nobody thinks more creatively than kids. Watching my own toddler’s boundless imagination at work each day fills me with equal
Gen X parents aren’t just encouraging their kids to unleash their
parts pride and envy.
creativity onto the world; they’re also challenging them to find real-world applications for their ideas, and empowering them to
Call it lateral thinking, or divergent ideation, but the ability to use
bring their thinking to life.
creativity to solve problems by understanding what is, and then imagining the possibilities of what could be, is the intellectual
Take the recent case of 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani, a
equivalent of superpowers. And as innovation consultants will
Pittsburgh-area sixth grader who discovered that federal and
happily tell you – usually for a fee – thinking like a kid can inspire
state governments could save up to $400 million a year in printing
costs by simply switching fonts in their documents. What started with a science fair project, trying to cut waste and save money
So what’s the source of said superpowers? Neuroplasticity. Absent
in a middle school, has, with the participation of his parents and
the fear of failure or judgment, kids possess a raw aptitude for
teachers, been elevated to a national conversation.
confidence in their own creativity. Picture their brains as soft, unformed clay, before it’s hardened by the long, slow burn of
So what does this mean for marketers? This year, the last Baby
adolescent and adult experiences. Before adaptation forces us to
Boomer turns 50, passing the leadership mantle in the workplace,
process information into entrenched channels – or ruts – of thinking.
classroom and at home, to Gen X, while the last Millennial turns 18 and (hopefully) graduates from high school, giving Gen Z the power
Interesting stuff, but cognitively this is no different than past
– and responsibility – of youth. I for one look forward to seeing more
generations. So what makes Gen Z unique? Sure, world events and
examples of how they harness it.
access to new technologies have shaped their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. But I’d argue that we should look closer to home, to the most influential factor in their lives – their parents.
GROWING UP GENERATION Z SNAPSHOTS OF LIFE SABENA SURI
Let’s face it: Millennials are the generation we all love to hate. Stereotyped as lazy, entitled, unmotivated, and generally annoying, there’s little to say about this generation that hasn’t already been said. Thankfully, there’s a new kid in town (literally): Gen Z.
terrorism and shattered safety of the schoolroom, to the hopefulness of our first black president and rise of marriage equality, Gen Z’ers are coming of age in a world where change is accelerating at an unprecedented pace.
Born between 1994 and 2010, and currently all under the age of 18, members of Gen Z may still have a lot of growing up to do, but they’ve already packed an extraordinary density of experiences into their formative years. From the vulnerability of domestic
So, in light of these transformational experiences, how has this cohort fared? With an overwhelmingly positive outlook – only 6% of this generation is pessimistic about the future,1 meaning that they’re bright-eyed and bushytailed about what’s next. Did someone say ‘Millennials’?
GEN Z'ERS WANT TO PLAY A HANDS-ON ROLE IN CHANGING WHAT THEY DON'T LIKE ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND THEM
FAMILY LIFE Gen Z’ers have grown up in a far less traditional family
believe that there’s too much pressure placed on today’s youth.6
structure than past generations; only two out of three
While that concern may not be unique to Gen Z parents, it
live in a two-parent household.2 And like their Millennial
becomes markedly more complex with the added dynamic of
predecessors, they see their parents as trusted friends, with
social networks and the real and perceived threats online.
88% claiming that they are “extremely close” with their parents.3 As one Gen Z parent put it: “I do more with my
As the lines between our digital and physical worlds continue
children, their friends, and their friends’ parents than my
to blur, tweens and teens and their parents have to face the
parents did with me or my siblings.”
pressures of cyberbullying, which can have a devastating impact
on their worldview and self-confidence. In fact, cyberbullying This attitude is reflected in the shared viewing habits of
causes 20% of victims to consider committing suicide.7
parents and kids, as many families ritualize TV nights together. Even when themes cross into potentially uncomfortable waters, kids genuinely enjoy watching shows like Glee, Modern Family, and The Voice, together with their parents.
And that sense of closeness is reciprocal: 93% of U.S. and
In a world that’s not exactly short on problems, the combination
UK parents trust their Gen Z children to be responsible when
of greater transparency and access to information with an
using social networking sites.
incredibly diverse youth corps (only 54% of Gen Z’ers are
Caucasian)8 has shaped this generation’s awareness of – and
Yet parents are still parents, and feel understandably
activism around – social issues. While Millennials have been
protective about their kids’ wellbeing – many are worried
criticized for their “slacktivism” (remember KONY?),9 Gen Z’ers
about keeping their children “innocent” and 56% of them
want to play a hands-on role in changing what they don’t like about the world around them. An overwhelming 80% of Gen Z’ers believe that same-sex marriage should be legal,10 while 48% care about helping people who are poor or sick, and 46% oppose the use of violence.11 And picking up the thread from the previous section, an alarming 29% of tweens say they’ve been bullied, which just goes to show how prevalent this behavior is, despite widespread efforts to bring the topic to the forefront of the national conversation.12 In tracking the specific social issues that Gen Z’ers deeply connect with, it’s worth noting that their beliefs do not align with popular opinion. They “are much less likely to fall into recognized opinion categories, and much more likely to mix
and match various points of view.”13
JOBS Gen Z’ers are, in a word, entrepreneurial. Much like
JUST THE FACTS
Millennials, they’ve been raised by parents who have inspired them to strive for success, but a key difference is that Gen Z’ers are more grounded in what it takes to get there; 46% are worried about getting good grades, which is a greater concern for them than having friends, fitting
18 & UNDER
in, being popular, and their health.14 In February 2014, Entrepreneur Magazine argued that Gen Z may be even more entrepreneurial than Gen Y as a result of access to
$200 BILLION 47%
resources and training programs, parental pressure, and
WILL BE OBESE BY THE TIME THEY REACH ADULTHOOD
mentorship opportunities.15 Young entrepreneurs are also driving this trend from the
ground up, serving as role models within their peer groups. The New York Times recently profiled young go-getters
like Louis Harboe, who scored a high-paying gig at tech OF TEENS AGE 12-17 ARE ONLINE
company Square at the tender age of 16, and Ryan Orbuch, who created the app Finish, earning a No. 1 spot in the Apple App Store, also at 16.16
OF ONLINE TEENS 33 ARE ON FACEBOOK
So it should come as no surprise that 74% of Gen Z’ers would rather work for themselves than for someone else17 and
OF TEENS KEEP THEIR 34 FACEBOOK PROFILE PRIVATE
TEXT ON THEIR SMARTPHONES TO 35 COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS EVERY DAY
USE VOICE CALLS 36
72% of high school students want to start their own business someday.18 They are likely to seek out opportunities that allow them to create flexible schedules, try out a crosssection of roles, and learn versatile skills they can apply to a variety of challenges.
FINANCES Gen Z’ers witnessed firsthand the personal effects of a global financial meltdown through the impressionable
lens of their childhoods. Like so many of us, they got swept
up in the overconsumption of a bubble market, and then struggled through the resulting hangover, as their families
were forced to make serious trade-offs in order to make SAY THEIR TOP CONCERN IS 38 GETTING THEIR IDENTITY STOLEN
ends meet. This whiplash effect has significantly shaped the way they think about money.19 As a result, they are taking charge of their finances
INDIVIDUALITY / SELF EXPRESSION OPEN-MINDEDNESS CAUTION AMBITION REALISM / PRAGMATISM
themselves. A third of Gen Z’ers who have a smartphone say that they have a finance, banking, or budgeting app on their device.20 They are also committed to saving more and spending less: 57% would rather save money than spend it immediately.21 This kind of austerity is particularly impressive
SCHOOL SHOOTINGS • INVENTION & GROWTH OF SOCIAL MEDIA • THE NATION ELECTING ITS FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT RECESSION • NATURAL DISASTERS • THE SUPREME COURT DECLARING DOMA UNCONSTITUTIONAL
when you consider the fact that these are all kids under 18. When it comes to funding one of life’s biggest investments, college, Gen Z’ers are freaked out. And justifiably so. Almost half say that their biggest worry is having a large
student loan when they graduate college, and 36% are worried
of messages), and Whisper (completely anonymous, like a
about being able to afford college at all. The sobering realities
social PostSecret).28 So they get all the social swagger of airing
of less financial help from their families, coupled with their crippling
their exploits, without the downside of leaving a trail.
fear of debt, will certainly impact their cost-benefit analysis of a college degree versus real-world experience.
As the spotlight moves from Gen Y to Gen Z, marketers need
Much has been said of Gen Z’ers dependence on technology,
generation – especially while they’re still looking for brands who
particularly among parents who are acclimating to the new
understand them, companies they can admire, and products
realities of an always-on world. On the one hand, kids are using
and services that enable them to project the best version of
tech for social purposes; 50% will send at least 50 texts a day.23
themselves. Capture their hearts and minds now, and you’ll
On the other, it’s a more isolating sense of socialization; one
cultivate a tribe of active and engaged fans who can help shape
Gen Z mom says “Kids these days are not as sociable because
your brand story for future generations.
to quickly develop first-mover strategies to connect with this
of technology…playing outside until the sun came down and sleepovers with friends seem far from this generation.”24
In order to do so effectively, marketers need to first distinguish between Gen Z’ers and Millennials, and avoid the temptation to
Their social platforms of choice are gravitating away from the mile-
lump them together into one amorphous youth segment. Next,
wide-and-inch-deep waters of Facebook, and towards more niche
they need to commit the appropriate time and resources to
sites and apps. In fact, there’s been something of a Gen Z exodus
identifying unique insights for Gen Z; listen to their unmet needs
since 2011, with an estimated 11 million young people leaving
and desires. Then finally, develop messaging, platforms, and big
Facebook in the last few years.25 What’s driving this behavior?
ideas that really speak to them.
One factor is Gen Z’s growing awareness around privacy
Sure, you should explore strategies to advance their interest in
issues, and anxiety around the Internet leaving lasting digital
social issues, opportunities to tap into their entrepreneurialism,
footprints. Understandably, 55% say that they don’t like things
and technologies that give them social status without future
that last forever online; 55% say they’d rather be anonymous
stigma. But don’t stop there. Think about how their innate need
than vocal. And 40% claim their biggest fear online is having
for respect, belonging, and security fit not into the world they
their identity stolen.27
inherited, but rather into the world they’re creating.
Yet, Gen Z’ers have still grown up with a social compulsion
Above all else, start today, before they become the biggest
to overshare, creating an interesting tension between the
generation in both size and impact. Remember what it felt like
pragmatic need to keep their identities squeaky-clean and
trying to crack the code on Millennials as they started breaking
longing for validation of their every action from their peers (i.e.
conventions left and right? Let’s learn from past mistakes and get
50+ Instagram likes on their illegally-obtained bottle of vodka).
out ahead of this one.
And so, they’ve found a happy medium in a new wave of apps that encourage private, controlled sharing, so they don’t have to worry about their data living on forever. These apps include Snapchat, Blink (self-destructs texts for groups), Skim (erases texts as they’re read), BurnNote (offers short clips
GEN Z & THOUGHT LEADERSHIP DISCOVERING A VOICE BEFORE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION DEVIN DESJARLAIS
Adora Svitak was only eight years old when she published her first book. Now nine years later, at the advanced age of 16, she’s standing on stage at SXSW 2014 presenting her radical philosophy on self-directed learning to a large crowd of thought leaders and creative tastemakers. How did she get here? Like many of her Gen Z peers, Svitak grew up with both the encouragement to follow her dreams and the tools needed to make them a reality. And she’s not alone. Many recent breakthroughs in the worlds of business, science, and technology have come at the hands of Gen Z’s new guard: 17-year-olds like Jack Andraka, who recently discovered an inexpensive early detection test for Pancreatic cancer, or 16-year-olds like Ann Makosinski, who invented a flashlight powered by body heat, that could change the lives of millions. Looking beyond the extraordinary accomplishments in their respective fields, young guns like Andraka, Makosinski, and Svitak are also being recognized for their insightful commentary on local, national, and international issues through published articles, TED Talks, and other global podiums. Jack Andraka has been called a “teen prodigy,”1 the “champion of change”2 and “Maryland’s wonder boy”3 – all for the dip-stick form early detection Pancreatic cancer test he discovered that’s “168 times faster, 26,000 times cheaper and over 400 times more sensitive”4 than the one currently being used by medical practitioners. But the road to his groundbreaking discovery wasn’t easy. It was paved with phone calls, emails, and petitions to hundreds of science labs before one decided to take a chance on a little kid with a big idea, and gave him access
to the test equipment he needed to prove it out.5 In the two short years since then, Andraka has been awarded the Gordon E. Moore Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair,6 he’s been recognized at the White House, made appearances on The Colbert Report,7 and gained international recognition. All while still having to earn participation credit in his high school biology class. Ann Makosinski on the other hand, stumbled upon a seemingly simple solution to providing long-lasting light sources to under-developed populations. The idea came to her after talking with a friend in the Philippines who didn’t have access to electricity. According to Makosinski, her friend couldn’t complete her homework and was failing in school. “That was the inspiration for my project.” said Ann, “I just wanted to help my friend in the Philippines and my flashlight was a possible solution.’”8 Using a hollow aluminum core and peltier tiles, which “produce an electrical current when opposite sides are heated and cooled at the same time,” she developed a flashlight operated entirely by body heat, and won the 2013 Google Science Fair as a result. While Andraka and Makosinski recently stepped into the global spotlight, Svitak has been advocating for her beliefs since she was old enough to type. Her recent interview in Forbes, following Sports Illustrated's decision to wrap the cover of the 50th anniversary swimsuit issue with Barbie’s iconic image,9
RECENT BREAKTHROUGHS IN BUSINESS, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY HAVE NOT BEEN AT THE HANDS OF ESTABLISHED THOUGHT LEADERS - THEY'VE BEEN CHARGES LED BY 17-YEAR-OLDS demonstrates an impressive aptitude for unapologetic commentary framed in a steadfast commitment to advancing feminism. Add to that the conviction that “childish” thinking can surface big ideas by embracing unbridled creativity and unwavering optimism, and you’ve got a powerful agent of change. So what makes Gen Z such a valuable potential asset for forward-looking organizations? And conversely, what makes this generation such a liability for entrenched legacy players? These kids have a unique worldview; they weren’t brought up with the cynicism of Gen X, who came of age in the shadow of a cold war, nor the cheery outlook of Millennials, who grew up with the promise that they could achieve or have anything. Gen Z’ers have been raised with both feet firmly planted in a new reality; one in which change can – and should – come from anyone, anywhere. As a result, they expect constant innovation and have little patience for sacred cows. It’s worth noting that change doesn’t have to come in huge leaps – it can be “more, smaller, and better” versions of familiar products and services. But make no mistake that the stuff in their lives needs to be constantly improving. If you don’t initiate this change, they’ll make it happen themselves.10
ENTERTAINING GEN Z THE NEW ROLE MODEL SABENA SURI
In the unpredictable world of entertainment, the only sure bet is that there are no sure bets; celebrities go from hyped to has-beens overnight, presumed blockbusters flop at the box office, and reliable franchise formats lose their audiences without warning. So when it comes to pop trends, it pays to watch out for the canaries in the coalmine. Millennials may drive what’s hot in the mainstream now, but smart marketers are looking to Gen Z as the cultural barometer for what’s next. Rather than waiting for pop culture hand-me-downs from their elders, this new generation of tastemakers is seeking out unique entertainment experiences, creating their own preferences, and socializing their discoveries (and rejects) with their peers in real time. What’s more, their expectations are insanely high, having grown up with 3-D films as the rule rather than the exception, hyper-realistic video games, and the creative windfall on cable networks.1 Gen Z’ers are on the hunt for stories in any medium that blend escapism, which helps them avoid the shadow of recession, war,
energy crisis, and climate change, with realism – which helps them deal with these new truths. This development has played out most visibly on the big screen, as Gen Z’ers gravitate towards movies that tackle weighty subjects like social inequality and injustices, global terrorism, sexuality, and violence. A far cry from the Disney princesses they grew up with, these themes more authentically reflect the dark times they’re living in.2 Take The Hunger Games series, starring Gen Z icon Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old living in a post-apocalyptic society controlled by a small group of malevolent leaders who have devised The Hunger Games as a means of repressing an impoverished population. Divergent offers a similar story – a girl that is “divergent” from society at large in future dystopian Chicago must face a group set out to destroy her kind. These themes can also be found on the small screen. The incredibly popular Pretty Little Liars focuses on four best friends looking to uncover the secret of their best friend’s murder. This
THE THROUGH-LINE THAT ALL OF THESE ENTERTAINMENT PROPERTIES SHARE: THEY FEATURE RELATABLE CHARACTERS THAT PERSEVERE THROUGH THE DARKEST SITUATIONS, AGAINST ALL ODDS.
A NEW BREED OF ROLE MODEL LENNON & MAISY STELLA, 14 & 10 These real-life Country music sisters currently star as the daughters of a huge Country star on ABC's Nashville where they regularly sing as a part of the show. Their cover of "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers was featured on Billboard's Hot Country songs in April 2013 and was featured on the show.
BETHANY MOTA, 18 A "social media goddess" with 4.8 million YouTube subscribers (more than Lady Gaga), where she shares her beauty and shopping tips, stories, and adventures with her fans. She recently launched a clothing and jewelry line with apparel retailer Aéropostale.
RYAN BEATTY, 18 A singer who was made famous by YouTube (his most popular video has over 6 million views) and launched an extremely successful self-titled EP in October 2013. He regularly collaborates with another popular Gen Z singer, Cody Simpson.
TEALA DUNN, 17 An actress, singer, and online personality who has starred on shows including TBS' Are We There Yet? and Dog with a Blog. She has an extremely popular YouTube channel, TealaXX2, and is a star on Nick's tween-focused YouTube channel, AwesomenessTV.
LUCAS CRUIKSHANK, 20 A YouTube sensation who created and portrays the fictional Fred Figglehorn – an over-the-top, high-pitched 6-year-old. The character became so popular that Nickelodeon created a film franchise based on Fred, beginning with Fred: The Movie.
construct would have been presented in an entirely different manner in the 90’s or 00’s; instead, the girls deal with graphic violence, horrific accidents, bleak familial issues, and worse. Though their problems are certainly dramatized for entertainment value, they are rooted in the dark, difficult situations that Z’ers have grown up around. Same goes for The Vampire Diaries, which focuses on a cult of evil vampires in rural Virginia.3 While mythical in subject, the show’s cynical and brooding tone is very appealing to this target. Supernatural has a similarly dark paranormal theme and also resonates strongly within this audience. Gen Z’s favorite books include Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Twilight, and The Hobbit.4 They all tell the stories of young, headstrong characters that face seemingly impossible challenges with self-reliance and integrity. And that fits with the through-line that all of these entertainment properties share: they feature relatable characters that persevere through the darkest situations, against all odds.5 These fearless role models show bright-eyed Gen Z’ers that they too have the power to change the status quo. Above all else, these stories combine Gen Z’s need for diversion with the need for reassurance that they can confidently improve the world they inherited. Marketers can leverage this trend by filtering content through the lens of realism. A little aspiration never hurts, but Gen Z’ers are bombarded with the promises of products and services that will make their lives better, while they’re really just looking for some honesty, and for someone to empower them to make their own lives better. So don’t gloss over the very real challenges they face. Reflect them as strong and confident agents of change, and your messages will be heard and taken to heart.
YOUNG MOOLAH GEN Z & THEIR FINANCIAL HABITS ALAN HUYNH
Just as many of us are emerging from the haze of our postrecession savings disorder and starting to loosen the purse strings, Gen Z’ers have become steadfastly serious about managing their finances.1 In the not-too-distant past, back in the halcyon days of the early-to-mid aught, parents of Gen Z’ers were embracing a culture of rampant overconsumption and staggering debt.2 So what was the catalyst for this dramatic shift towards thriftiness among an age group that’s not historically known for being fiscally responsible? The answer is simple – education. Parents are now sending their kids to money management summer camps like the Young American Center for Financial Education, which hosts FUNancial Summer Camps. Instead of honing archery or arts-and-crafts skills, students in grades 2-6 can learn about budgeting, starting a business, or macroeconomics and monetary policy.3 Drafting off the trend of the gamification of just about everything in the lives of Gen Z, young entrepreneur contests have become the new spelling bee.4 One of the most notable is the Thiel Fellowship, which awards entrepreneurial students the opportunity to start and run a business by investing $100K into their endeavor over the course of two years, rather than going immediately to college.5
Unlike their Millennial predecessors, Gen Z’ers are conflicted when it comes to the value of higher education and its perceived costs.6 Most members of Gen Z aspire to the “college experience,” but given their financial realities, and the relative value of the sheepskin paper that comes at the end of said experience, many are seeking alternative educational opportunities or learning desirable job skills – either through online learning platforms or other DIY (and DIT) methods. When it comes to tracking their personal finances, Gen Z’ers are forgoing the analog checkbooks for online services.7 They’re growing up with mobile apps like Lemon and Mint, which make it especially easy to keep track of their financial decisions, with real-time snapshots of their spending and savings. As Gen Z’ers mature and grow into a greater share of spending power, don’t expect them to follow the same financial patterns and behaviors as past generations.8 They’re more aware, more responsible, and more pragmatic with their spending habits. Their parents may have been impractical and focused on short-term material happiness, but Generation Z has no interest in faking it until they actually make it. And when they do, they’re still probably going to save most of it.
ADOLESCENT APPETITES RESHAPING THE RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD MORGAN ACEINO
Parents force-feeding cauliflower. Children sneaking candy. Moms hiding vegetables in casseroles. Kids binging on junk food. The cyclical patterns that connect the child/parent/food triangle have been around for ages. The platitudes are true, but tired. However, the narrative around food is finally shifting – especially when it comes to Gen Z. For decades, pantry-stocking decisions were left entirely to grownups. But today’s parents have recognized that the rituals of picking1 and preparing food can teach children about creativity, health, and democracy. And Gen Z’ers are rising to the occasion; this group boasts some of the youngest cooking prodigies and health advocates in recent history.
THE FUSION OF EXPLORATION, CUISINE, & CREATIVITY This generation of junior gourmands has never known a world without The Food Network. Giada, Emeril, and Rachel Ray are beloved household names. As a result, food has become a form of social currency for Gen Z – it’s a part of pop culture in the same way that fashion, music, or television was for previous generations.2 It’s producing a new wave of adolescent epicureans storming the culinary scene to express their creativity and individuality. From MasterChef Junior and Rachel vs. Guy: Kids Cook-off3 to the Young Chefs Academy, opportunities for Gen Z to showcase their cooking chops are popping up everywhere. But for these tiny tastemakers, cooking isn’t the end game – eating is. Broadening the palate is a way to explore different cultures and experience new things. As the most diverse American generation to date, Gen Z embodies multiplicity and places paramount importance on acceptance and personal development. “Research from the Center for Culinary Development indicates that Generation Y’s food preferences lean toward “intense, complex, layers of flavor in their foods” and older teens (16 and up) are willing to spend liberally for big or bold flavors.”4
AS THE MOST DIVERSE AMERICAN GENERATION TO DATE, GEN Z EMBODIES MULTIPLICITY & PLACES PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE ON ACCEPTANCE & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. Smart brands are taking notice and responding. Hyatt Hotels recently launched a successful “for kids by kids” menu that introduces diminutive diners to new cuisines in interesting but healthy ways.5 Chobani is also expanding its product offering to excite those pint-sized palates.6 Chobani Kids is a new line of Greek yogurts that incorporates sophisticated but playful flavors and packaging form factors that appeal to Gen Z’ers. Big brands aren’t the only ones playing in these waters. Small, local restaurants and cafés are getting in the game too. Art Café in Nayak, NY recently introduced “a small but sweet kid's menu [that] offers ‘babyccinos,’ made with steamed milk and cocoa, served in a just-like-Mom's cappuccino cup.”7 So what can we do? Gen Z’ers are searching for new experiences that’ll expand both their cultural and personal understanding of the world around them. The time for marketers to recognize and meet their underserved desire for exploration through food is now.
MINDFUL > MINDLESS MUNCHING Meryl Streep once said, “It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician.” Gen Z’ers are growing up in a world where “fake” sugar is bad, organic is the new normal, and balance is preferred over binging. For the first time in many generations, there’s less of a need to break these kids from their habitual consumption of sugary sodas or super-salty snacks. A recent report by Organic Connections, based on a study by Piper Jaffay & Co., reveals that 39% of U.S. teens are choosing organic foods, and that 35% of teenagers are consuming more organic options than one year ago.8 Why the shift? Parents. In every socioeconomic bracket, Gen Z’s parents are placing a priority on getting healthy, having organic options in the house and keeping junk food at bay.9 Even still, it’s an uphill battle. “Of every 100 Gen Z kids, 47 will be obese by the time they reach adulthood. This is partly due to a more sedentary lifestyle in the rising digital era, but unhealthy diets are also to blame. In a time of shrinking family budgets, the cheapest food options are often the unhealthiest.”10
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MANY GENERATIONS, THERE'S LESS OF A NEED TO BREAK THESE KIDS FROM THEIR HABITUAL CONSUMPTION OF SUGARY SODAS OR SUPER-SALTY SNACKS.
But this battle is giving rise to some pretty heavy-hitting health warriors. From politics to pop culture, getting healthy food into the hands of our kids is becoming a national priority. Proponents include everyone from first lady Michelle Obama11 to brands like the NFL12 and Disney.13 We’re collectively challenging the ingredients and sourcing behind our food, and pushing for broader access and availability of healthy options for kids of every income bracket.
Gen Z spends a majority of their monthly allowance on food & snacks – more than on any other product category (including books, digital items, clothing, and grooming).14 CASSANDRA REPORT, GEN Z
So, change is happening, albeit slowly.
EMBRACE EXPLORATION There’s an opportunity for marketers to recognize that this generation craves expression and exploration. They expect
Gen Z is more likely to be vegetarian than past generations because they were born into sustainability.15 SUPERMARKET NEWS
brands to work with them, giving them diverse opportunities to experience new and exciting things in the name of becoming a better-rounded, more interesting person. Appeal to their appreciation for adventure, and they’ll adventure with you.
EMPATHIZE & ENABLE
Obesity amongst children aged 2-5 dropped 43% between 2004 and 2014.16 THE NEW YORK TIMES
Parents of Generation Z, just like the countless parents before them, only want what’s best for their children. The big difference today is that they aren’t living in blissful ignorance when it comes to mealtime, media, and everything in between. They know the good, bad, and ugly of what they expose their children to – thanks to the Internet. This creates an opportunity for brands to recognize
Consumption of caffeinated sodas like Coke and Pepsi is down about 40% in the last decade among older teens.17 NPR
this tension, and set parents up for success. Providing transparency, clarity, and credibility in an age of scandal and uncertainty is key. Show that you get it now, and aren’t just jumping on the bandwagon later, and they’ll respond with their loyalty when it counts.
58% of teens are willing to pay more for organic & natural products.18 ORGANIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE
EDU-HACKING CRISTINA PEDROZA
Parental brags are nothing new. Sure, there are significantly more opportunities to gloat about our kids’ accomplishments, as we bury them under avalanches of activities while the outlets for showing off have expanded from soccer game sidelines to Facebook updates, from wallet pictures to Instagram feeds. As was the case with previous generations, today’s parental peacocking is far more about the parents, and shining a spotlight on their superlative child-rearing skills, than they are about the kids’ good fortunes or natural abilities. Social one-upmanship aside, these behaviors point to the historic pressures we place on younger generations to outdo their predecessors. We assume that with greater access to educational opportunities, technology, and instructional resources, they are destined to become more successful than we were. And with Gen Z, that’s actually shaping up to be true – but what’s remarkable is how they’re defining success. Whereas most of us were conditioned to frame success in terms of personal gain and upward socio-economic mobility, Gen Z’ers see it in terms of self-actualization and doing what you love.
Take 15-year-old Jacob Barnett1, the math and astrophysics child prodigy, who is driven as much by activism and altruism as he is by entrepreneurialism and intellectualism. With his family, he runs Jacob’s Place, a charity devoted to raising awareness and dispelling myths about autism, a condition he was diagnosed with when he was just two. Jacob has challenged everyone from Einstein to therapists to educators, but more importantly, he’s inspired other kids like him to change the game: “instead of being the student of the field, to be the field”2. To forget what they know and what they’ve been taught, and to start thinking about the things that they are passionate about. Jacob’s philosophy, which is remarkably astute for any age or IQ, is grounded in the idea that for today’s youth, the transition from learning to thinking will allow them to create something new and extraordinary out of something they love and believe in. It supports the broader Gen Z trend of using new technologies and disruptive thinking – or what we’re calling edu-hacking – to redefine roles and reshape the future of education.
I SEE SO MANY OF MY PEERS LOOKING TO EARN REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE BEFORE COLLEGE. A COUPLE OF MY FRIENDS ARE CURRENTLY DOING INTERNSHIPS IN THE MEDICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL ARENAS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THEIR FUTURE MAJORS. Nicole Desjarlais, 18 Senior at Jupiter Community High School
DIGITALLY NATIVE DOESN'T MEAN ANALOG-PHOBIC There’s a common misconception, particularly as it relates to technology and media, that embracing the new means out with the old. While it’s true that Gen Z’ers have been wired since the womb, it’s important to note that they use technology as an integrator – not an isolator – of everything that’s happening in the world around them. We know that Gen Z’ers are extremely visual3. Throughout their cognitive development they’ve been exposed to nearly endless streams of digital and physical information, and can absorb fairly complex concepts using visual blocks instead of traditional learning blocks.
making apprenticeships a mandatory component of their curriculum. While it would be easy – and logical – to presume that Gen Z’ers are the most digitally dependent cohort to date, we cannot lose sight of the simple 1+1=3 math that happens when we bring the digital and physical environments together. It’s not a case of activating one or the other, but rather how they can be brought together to unlock new experiences.
THE TRADITIONAL SIT-DOWN LECTURE TYPE OF CLASS IS NOT NECESSARILY THE BEST WAY TO LEARN. MY STUDENTS ARE TEACHING THEMSELVES, AND I'M JUST THERE TO BE A FACILITATOR. THEY ENJOY THIS MORE BECAUSE THEY GET TO OWN THEIR KNOWLEDGE & THE CLASSROOM BECOMES MORE INTERACTIVE. Stefanie Kawasaki, 35 Math Professor at Palos Verdes Chadwick High School
Star Walk, a wildly popular star gazing app among kids, is adapting to Gen Z’s way of learning. This technology opens up new galaxies, literally, by combining the sky above us with complex astronomical data. It’s just one example of how a multisensory approach to education incorporates digital and analog stimuli to create new and immersive learning experiences. Leaning further into this trend of hands-on education is the recent resurgence of apprenticeship5 among Gen Z’ers. Today’s teens are actively seeking real-world training to complement what they learn in the classroom, giving them head start in their search for a vocation, and a competitive edge in their college applications. In fact, some progressive charter schools are going so far as to
REMODELING EDUCATION INC., ROLE REVERSAL & THE PERSONALIZATION OF SUBJECTS Much has been made of the Freaky Friday role reversal between Gen Z’ers and their folks. Parents have become kidults, while children are becoming more parent-like. Following a similar pattern, the relationship between teachers and students has been flipped on its head, upending traditional educational roles. Ethan Eirinberg, a 16-year-old Chicago native, was disappointed by the lack of coding classes available in his school. So he decided to start CreateHS6, a peer-to-peer platform that teaches coding languages in a fun and competitive way. With no formal instructors required, and low barriers to entry, he scaled this platform to global audiences. By identifying an unmet need in his own life, and recognizing that he could fill it himself,
THE EVOLUTION OF THE CLASSROOM TOOLS
METHODS & COMMUNICATION
MESSAGING PROBLEM APPS SOLVING
NEXT THE CLOUD
I'M PROBABLY MORE INTERESTED IN SCIENCE THAN MOST PEOPLE ARE, BUT I DON'T WANT TO WAIT UNTIL HIGH SCHOOL TO LEARN ABOUT PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, MECHANICS, AND NANO-ENGINEERING. SINCE I DON'T SEE MY SCHOOL CHANGING THE CURRICULUM ANY TIME SOON, I'VE DISCUSSED WITH MY MOM DOING SOME HOME TUTORING ON THESE SUBJECTS. Lucas Koehler, 12 Goes to Manhattan Beach Middle School
Ethan embodies the spirit of Gen Z’ers following their passions and transforming entrenched systems through a bottom-up approach. There are many inspiring stories of Gen Z’ers like Ethan who are redefining the tenets of our educational institutions. Many of the close to 2 million7 kids in the U.S. who are currently homeschooled are actively choosing to self-direct their own curriculum, supplementing core subjects with non-traditional activities and passion points. Take the story of skiing wunderkind Logan LaPlante. In his inspirational TED Talk,8 Logan illustrates how the concept of hackschooling9 was the best alternative for him to have a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life. He’s been homeschooled for more than three years now, and in his daily schooling he balances math and science schoolwork with the one thing that inspires him the most in life: skiing. His daily routine carves out alone time to do homework, class projects, and chores around the house, but it also includes adequate time for him to hone his downhill talents. In Logan’s eyes, and those of many of his peers, education can serve a hyper-personalized purpose if structured to the individual.
Altogether, the experiences of Ethan, Logan, and many others like them, illustrate a paradigm shift in the roles children and adults play in education today. Parents, teachers, and mentors are now partners on more equal footing, while Gen Z students are accessing and sharing the universal classroom of life. And what’s most impressive is that they’re doing it on their terms.
CLASSROOM 2.0: THE GAMIFICATION OF LECTURE It’s been widely acknowledged that immersive experiences can teach far more effectively than one-way monologues. But when it comes down to what qualifies as education versus entertainment, who’s to say what’s work and what’s play? Those of us who grew up with linear learning plans understood the fundamental differences between Oregon Trail and Commando; between Schoolhouse Rock and Looney Tunes. Today, it’s not so easy to delineate between them. Video games, once the epitome of slackerdom, have become a valuable study-aid resource in today’s classrooms.10 The type of lateral problem-solving skills required to navigate maze-like game levels is actually something that teachers are capitalizing on to teach children math, reading, and even physics.
Look beneath the surface and Angry Birds is not a frivolous game, but rather an interactive lesson in the foundational laws of motion. Seemingly random patterns of gameplay actually facilitate the understanding of pulley systems; a concept that kids often struggle to comprehend through conventional teaching methods. Likewise, Mine Wars and Guild 2 are popular games that teach kids the basics of team dynamics, self-discipline, focus, and ultimately, how to simplify complex challenges to achieve a simple goal. We’re still a few years away from widespread adoption of video games as a mainstream tool in the classroom. But parental apprehension is melting away in the face of actual results; as more positive feedback, both anecdotal and quantifiable, is shared with the general public, adults will invariably feel more compelled to support these unconventional methods as both work and play.
IMPLICATIONS FOR MARKETERS Gen Z’ers are up for a challenge. They want to ask questions, and find ten different ways to answer each one of them. To capture, and more importantly, keep their attention, you’ll need to stoke their curiosity by being a little more complex than we typically give this age range credit for. Simply relying on archetypes, highprofile endorsements, or aspirational messaging will only go so far. Offer them your brand as an open platform that can help them discover what they’re passionate about. Who cares if it changes on a monthly or even weekly basis? Let them use their personal interests to deconstruct your brand, products, and services; let them re-mix and personalize your story to fit their own vision of the world, and of themselves. And finally, trust that Gen Z parents will appreciate those rare-but-exceptional brands that respect their kids’ intuitions and abilities. Those who act more like enablers on their kids’ journey than marketers exploiting their vulnerabilities – it will pay dividends down the line. Gen Z’ers will value those who understand them early on and stick by them in the long run.
Fewer children are playing team sports. The evidence? Combined participation in the four most popular U.S. team sports (football, basketball, soccer, and baseball) fell 4% among 6 to 17-year-olds over the past four years.1 This trend worries health advocates who think kids are choosing to fill their afternoons with Madden 2015 and NBA 2K instead of real life football and basketball. But video games and social networks aren’t solely to blame for the decline; it’s possible older generations’ approach to coaching may rub Gen Z the wrong way. Gen Z is self-reflective, curious, and seeks meaning in almost everything they do. Daily sports practices, where everyone is demanded to perform the same tasks, like wind sprints and weight lifting, doesn’t fully align with their exploratory nature. While older generations see the benefit of individuals on a team being held to a single standard, Gen Z’s values of flexibility and freedom may be at odds with the way some coaches run practice. A 2012 qualitative study of Gen Z’s perceptions about what makes a good sports coach found that the group highly values being involved in team decision-making.2
KIDS AGES 6-18 PARTICIPATING IN ORGANIZED SPORTS TACKLE FOOTBALL
President Barack Obama
between coaches and players may be key to sustaining Gen Z’s interest in traditional team sports. That and not throwing chairs like Bobby Knight. Other theories for the decline in team sports participation include the growing concern that concussions and other contact sports can lead to permanent injury. In 2012, Kurt Warner went on record saying he wasn’t sure he’d want his son to play football, and President Obama echoed this sentiment in 2014 while watching a Miami Dolphins/ Carolina Panthers game. Obama told the New Yorker, “I would not let my [hypothetical] son play pro football.”3
Creating a more egalitarian rapport
I WOULD NOT LET MY [HYPOTHETICAL] SON PLAY PRO FOOTBALL.
Of course, the decline in team sports participation could be cyclical or connected to school program cut backs, so it’s too soon to tell whether this is a long-term trend worthy of concern or if it’s a temporary blip. And there’s always the possibility that some team sports will recover, while others will not. Marc Kligman, a sports agent and a longtime youth baseball coach, suspects baseball will gradually be abandoned. He noted, “Baseball can be a slow-moving game and doesn’t
have that fast, quick hit like basketball and lacrosse. We’re a society that has a much shorter attention span than we used to. Today everything is all Twitter and Facebook — fast and instantaneous.”4 Today’s shorter attention spans may also explain golf’s waning participation numbers. The U.S. has lost 5 million players over the last decade.5 A number of initiatives are aimed at attracting new players, including Hack Golf, a group working to crowd source “radical yet practical ideas to increase the fun quotient in the game.” The organization has collected 1,300 ideas so far which range from eliminating dress codes to creating a 15-inch hole. The latter idea is actually gaining traction; the CEO of TaylorMade Golf, Mark King, made 15-inch hole kits for 20 courses as part of a beta program and forecasts that the larger hole size will become mainstream in five years.6 The lesson: in a world that’s rapidly filling up with digital natives, companies aren’t the only ones who need to adapt or die. Sports and sports marketing will likely need to do so as well.
GEN Z + DIVERSITY BLURRED LINES NICOLE CASSESE
plu•ral•ist n. Someone who believes that distinct ethnic or cultural or religious groups can exist together in society.1 Black. White. Male. Female. Christian. Atheist. Muslim. Buddhist. People. As the last American generation with a Caucasian majority,2 Gen Z is ushering in a new era of blended identities. Lines across race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, age, socio-economic status, political persuasions, and sexual orientation are collapsing at an accelerated rate. Previous generations paved the way for the transformation from mainstream acceptance – at least philosophically – of different cultures and lifestyles, to Gen Z’ers visceral need for practical inclusion of true diversity in their communities. But, as behaviors catch up with perceptions, today’s youth deserve the credit for
actively seeking out connections with other individuals in their online and offline social circles. While she’s not a Gen Z’er, activist Jane Elliot perfectly articulates this sentiment in her statement: “We don't need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in the different things. You want the vegetables - the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers - to maintain their identity. You appreciate differences.”3 This convergence of inclusivity and individuality is the new norm for Gen Z’ers: in school, at home, and eventually – the workplace.4 And reflections of this shifting paradigm can be found in everything from emerging pop culture idols to changing gender roles, and modern relationships to mass media and marketing.
THE DAYS OF THE NUCLEAR FAMILY ARE OVER
GENDER ROLES Perceptions of responsibilities within the family unit, in and out of the home, are reshaping the future of gender dynamics. Women have not only caught up with men in college attendance, but are now more likely to obtain an undergraduate or graduate degree than their male counterparts. Roles in the workplace are also shifting as women now hold 51% of managerial and professional jobs.5 Meanwhile, more men are taking paternity leave, or choosing to step into the role of stay-at-home dad. The influence that these blending roles and fluid family environment have on Gen Z’ers will only strengthen their embrace of plurality.
RELATIONSHIPS Gen Z has grown up watching the fight for marriage equality. Same-sex marriage is now legal in 17 states, and research shows that the majority of the country now supports it.6 Television shows like Modern Family are the epitome of what Gen Z has come to expect – families of different races and sexual orientations, all living together in functional dysfunction, just like everyone else. Celebrity families, like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, or Sandra Bullock, are eschewing traditional domestic structures and paving the way for a new familial calculus.
POP CULTURE The voices of a generation speak volumes for their shared values. From the MTV vee-jays of yesteryear to current-day sports heroes, diversity doesn’t just simply refer to race. Today, Gen Z looks to people like the outspoken, gay gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who is now an advocate of the anti-bullying movement,7 and the wildly popular Andrej Pejic, the male-born model whose androgyny has given him the ability to model as both male and female.8 Not only are the icons of this generation more diverse than those of any prior, but so too are their followers. Even Facebook has abolished the simple male/female choice in its gender-identifiers; users can now choose from 56 categories including bigender, cisgender, and androgynous.9
MASS MEDIA & MARKETING Marketers are already catching on to the values and opinions of young Americans. From social media to TV commercials, Gen Z standards are coming to life. The biggest commercial day of the year, the Super Bowl, saw the release of two incredibly controversial commercials. One was Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” ad,10 which featured people from all over the country singing “America the Beautiful” in multiple languages and featured two gay characters. The other was Cheerios’ “Gracie” ad that featured an interracial family, sending a message of families without borders.11 Both ads drew negative commentary from mostly-older crowds but inherently reflect the changing landscape that Gen Z is shaping.
BRANDING IMPLICATIONS To capture and keep the attention of Gen Z’ers, brands need to rely on empathy, rather than shock value. And create connection points, rather than segmentation strategies. It’s that proverbial “salad bowl” replacing the “melting pot.” In celebrating individuality over integration within the context of community building, brands can demonstrate an understanding of the new norm. Truly sharing Gen Z’s values will lay the foundation for a conversation they’ll be open to continuing for years to come.
The typical Gen Z’er is likely to have a social circle that’s more diverse than yours.1 This generation has grown up with a bi-racial president, a beloved lesbian daytime talk show host, the first openly gay NBA player, and the first openly gay SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Given the range of diversity they’ve observed – even experienced – firsthand, it should come as no surprise that traditional gender roles seem passé, even borderline insulting to them. Sure, Millennials have been blazing this trail for a while now, upending entrenched gender norms and openly expressing their individuality. But Gen Z’ers will undoubtedly have a more nuanced concept of gender than any previous generation. Experts say kids from the Silent Generation were the most gender-polarized.2 That is, until the 1960s, when they became
radicalized and rallied against the Stepford conceit. Toys were de-genderized in the 60s, along with pronouns, but the pendulum swung back in the early 2000s with the explosion of the princess business. Mattel introduced its “World of Girl” line of princess Barbie dolls in 2001, just as Disney made billions by packaging nine of its female characters under a royal collection.3 Today, we find ourselves at another turning point, and marketers – even those who have traditionally relied on gender targeting – should take to heart Gen Z’s desire for unisex goods and services. Better to get ahead of the curve than be pressured by organizations like Let Toys Be Toys – a consumer group that campaigns for gender neutrality in toys – or being called out on social media by a 13-year-old girl.4
Crushing old gender stereotypes generates excitement and press. Goldieblox founder Debbie Sterling saw “Bob the Builder, Bill Nye the Science Guy and all these other boy geniuses, but wanted a role model, a strong character girls can relate to.”5 Her line of engineering toys with accompanying storybooks went from Kickstarter to the shelves of Toys“R”Us in seven months. She’s sold more than 100,000 toys, spurred in large part by a viral ad parodying the “Princess Machine” using a remixed version of the Beastie Boys’ tune “Girls” as the ad’s soundtrack.6 Looking beyond the toy category, there’s a rash of new fashion brands creating unisex and stereotype-breaking clothing options – including Veer, Charlie Boy, and Girls Will Be, a pinkfree clothing line for young women.7 Tom Ford has developed a
makeup line for men that many believe will appeal to Gen Z as they come of age.8 George Mason University is joining a growing list of universities offering gender-neutral housing.9 College-bound Gen Z’ers can thank their Millennial predecessors for the expanded housing options. Today, 149 U.S. college institutions allow gender-neutral housing, a decision made in part by LGBT student groups’ lobbying efforts.10 By the time the youngest of the Gen Z cohort is ready for college, they may find gender-based college housing as antiquated as cassette tapes, answering machines, and an all-pink toy aisle.
UNKNOWN GEN Z & THEIR NEW TRAVEL HABITS
And with so many new tools like Hipmunk, Kayak, and AirBnB, which greatly reduce the cost of travel, Gen Z faces fewer barriers to international travel.3
For Gen Z, exploration doesn’t require a passport, a plane ticket, or even the open road. And the rite of passage to adolescent freedom doesn’t come with a driver’s license and first set of wheels – but rather with the 5-inch window to the world in their pockets – their first smartphone.1
They’re using apps to plan and socialize their travels, creating travel boards with one another on Pinterest, researching destinations on Reddit, bookmarking travel articles with Delicious,4 and, of course, sharing their adventures with the world on Instagram.
As the most connected generation to date,2 it should come as no surprise that Gen Z has embraced the smartphone as a portal to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime, and all without having to get off the couch. What’s interesting is how they’re starting to use it to get off that proverbial couch and unleash their inner Walter Mitty. Through the lens of new media, Gen Z’ers have experienced the vast curiosities of
THIS GROUP IS GROWING UP FASTER, MORE CONNECTED, AND MORE CURIOUS THAN ANY PRIOR GENERATION.
the world at an early age: they saw Felix Baumgartner skydive from the stratosphere, learned about genocide in Uganda from KONY 2012, and watched their idols take
They want to explore and travel and share
selfies while backpacking in Machu Picchu.
every single moment of it. If marketers can
This early exposure has accelerated their appetite for discovery at a much broader scale, much sooner than any prior generation.
capitalize on this generation's thirst for adventure early on, they’ll win some serious brand advocates who’ll take them along on Z-style escapades for years to come.
SOCIAL MEDIA: THE NEW PLAYGROUND JASMEET GILL
As a Millennial, I’ve always lableled my generation as “digital natives,” but let’s face it – we’re nowhere near as tech-savvy as the generation following us. Gen Z was essentially born digital. Think about it: by the time Gen Z’ers are walking and talking, there are upwards of 1,000 pictures of them on social media (courtesy of their doting parents, of course). They are learning to read and write on tablets, listening to music on smartphones, and watching TV on demand. By the time they’re eight years old, they’re using Instagram, interacting with their friends on Snapchat, and playing in virtual worlds. Are they the new Silent Generation? One that would rather text than talk on the phone, stay inside than go outside, and consider summer camp a punishment? Some experts are calling Gen Z the most isolated generation. With the majority of their lives taking place online as opposed to IRL (in real life), are their social skills and development negatively impacted? Are our kids being dehumanized?
THEY'RE INARGUABLY THE MOST CONNECTED GENERATION TO DATE Maybe it’s a contrarian point of view, but we would have to say no. Gen Z is the most connected generation to date, and social media has carved out a whole new set of rules that’s changing the way they interact. When you strip away the platforms, text lingo and virtual landscapes, these teens are still exhibiting the same behaviors and learning the same lessons Millennials have – it’s just happening in a different forum. Let’s consider “friendship unbound,” a key trend Iconoculture sees emerging from Gen Z’s access to social media. Unlike their predecessors, this generation has the
unique ability to make and maintain
generating and adopting new platforms to
relationships solely online, on both a local and
meet their growing needs, gravitating toward
global level. Kids are being looped into play
the ephemeral and anonymous. Whisper is a
dates via FaceTime, becoming best friends with
platform that permits you to “be yourself and
their counterparts halfway across the world, and
stay anonymous” by allowing users to post
balancing virtual and IRL play without thinking
thoughts and secrets online without attaching
twice. Despite all the new tools and apps
your name. Secret functions in a similar manner,
that allow you to do everything, from sending
but only allows users to post anonymously within
vanishing photos to posting anonymously, there
their friend network. These anti-Facebook
has been no fundamental change in the way
networks are gaining a loyal Gen Z following:
that kids are forming and maintaining their
Whisper has over 3.5 billion views a month and
friendships today. If anything, it’s helping them
more than 20 posts per second during certain
forge deeper connections with their friends,
faster. And it’s not just about connecting with their peers. Thanks to social media, Gen Z is
Along with this desire for anonymity comes
now also closer with their Boomer and Gen X
mindfulness about public image. Gen Z has seen
grandparents who may live across the country.
their Millennial brothers and sisters suffer for hasty Facebook posts and inappropriate tweets, and
While they’re developing social connections
they know that posting online is done with a
more quickly, they’re also hitting traditional
Sharpie. As a result, they’re not only predisposed
teen milestones more quickly than Millennials
to use ephemeral/temporary forms of digital
did, a phenomenon dubbed Kids Getting
communication, but they’re also generally
Older Younger (KGOY.) Many Gen Z’ers are
more conscious of what they’re posting and
having their first kiss, date, and even bullying
where. Surprisingly, this always-connected digital
encounter online, in a virtual world or via social
generation is also mindful to unplug every so
media. In a way, kids aren’t really permitted the
often, in an effort to maintain and improve both
luxury to be “kids” for too long. They’re blazing
their physical and mental health.4
through childhood because of their constant connectivity, and entering adulthood at a much
For Gen Z, and all the generations to follow,
access to advanced technology is speeding up their lives, allowing them to learn, discover, and
With this whole new vector of play comes Gen
create at much younger ages.
Z’s ability to discover and test platforms and media that fits their lives. The channels we’re
They’re on a quest to find like-minded peers, and
all familiar with today – Facebook, Twitter,
searching for acceptance into niche subcultures
Instagram and even Snapchat – were designed
that are focused on celebrating similarities as
by Millennials for Millennials. But Gen Z is
opposed to pointing out differences.5
MANY ARE HAVING THEIR FIRST KISS, DATE, AND EVEN BULLYING ENCOUNTER ONLINE & IN A VIRTUAL WORLD.
ACCESS TO ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IS SPEEDING UP THEIR LIVES & ALLOWING THEM TO LEARN, DISCOVER, AND CREATE AT MUCH YOUNGER AGES.
Yet despite the fact that this young,
know when to unplug, and they’re mindful of
impressionable generation is choosing to make
what they post. That’s a lot further than my
friends, learn skills, and communicate more
generation got at this age.
online as opposed to IRL, the fundamental behavior of playing and forming social skills
So while some are raising a red flag with Gen Z’s
is essentially the same. “Being grounded”
addiction to social media, we say, eh, let them
probably means no Facebook, and social
play. It’s the same playground we grew up on –
media may be the new “mall,” but this
just in another location.
generation is developing no differently than mine. They’re choosing to utilize social media because the opportunities are endless, allowing for connections on a global basis. But they
GEN Z: A NEW MOVING TARGET JAY MATTINGLY
In 2014, the last Millennial will turn 18.1 Now that Gen Y sits firmly in the 18-34 demographic, marketers should brace themselves for the emergence of the next wave of consumers. Gen Z’s estimated buying power of nearly $7 billion2 has them perfectly positioned to influence every aspect of youthtargeted business and consumption in the very near future. So, they’ll have money to burn. But the kicker is that they’re less brand loyal than any previous generation, especially Gen Y. This new mentality will require a new marketing model that begs the question: how do you not only catch their attention, but then also hold it? Gen Z has grown up in a world where innovation isn’t exciting and admired, it’s expected. According to Mashable‘s Kathy Savitt,3 “Companies that expect Generation Z to be loyal based on a carefully crafted brand image and marketing message will find that their effort is wasted. Generation Z simply doesn’t buy it. Instead, the product itself is what’s important, regardless of marketing campaigns.”
Brandy Melville is a great example of a commitment to the product – not an artificial marketing message. With a clear aesthetic, a California-cool identity, and one-size-fits-all clothing, Brandy Melville has gained cult status with Gen Z’ers. C==helsea Moore, former CoDirector of PR for Brandy Melville, gained over 1 million Instagram followers with simple photography and a modest budget. “The products do the storytelling for us – they are such a clear manifestation of who we are as a brand. We don’t push product, we present a lifestyle.” Similarly, take jewelry company Alex and Ani, creator of simple, sleek bangles with dangling charms. Their grassroots approach made them a hit with teens and tweens4 (their 2012 sales were nearly $81 million)5 and their products speak for themselves. They offer charms that accentuate the wearer’s personality – from their favorite animal, to their initials, to their favorite sports team – allowing for an authentic piece of jewelry. Not to mention, their products are affordable and eco-friendly. With Gen Z, the best product wins. Brands must focus on developing the latest and greatest, being first to market, and giving this group of practical purchasers a real reason to listen. What’s now is irrelevant. What’s next is paramount. Earning the attention (and $$$) of Gen Z will require marketers to step up their game in almost every way. But investing in the Gen Z connection now will lead to relationships that’ll pay dividends later.
COMPANIES THAT EXPECT GENERATION Z TO BE LOYAL BASED ON A CAREFULLY CRAFTED BRAND IMAGE & MARKETING MESSAGE WILL FIND THAT THEIR EFFORT IS WASTED. KATHY SAVITT, MASHABLE
1 2 3
THE WAKE UP TEAM MORGAN ACEINO
SENIOR BRAND STRATEGIST
WHITNEY ANDERSON DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY
NICOLE CASSESE PROOFREADER
4 5 6 7
PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER
JASMEET GILL BRAND STRATEGIST
RAJAT GUPTA ART DIRECTOR
ALAN HUYNH JUNIOR ANALYST
8 9 10 11 12 13
SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
HOLLY MCGALLIARD PROJECT MANAGER
SEAN MCNAMARA CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER
SENIOR BUSINESS & BRAND ANALYST
ALBERT PRANNO JUNIOR DESIGNER
5 13 6
FOOTNOTES GROWING UP 1.
3. 4. 5.
11. 12. 13.
Anatole, Emily. "Generation Z: Rebels with a Cause." Forbes. N.p., 28 May 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http:// www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2013/05/28/generation-z-rebelswith-a-cause/>. Lee Yohn, Denise. "Don't Forget Gen Z." QSR Magazine. N.p., Aug. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. <http://www. qsrmagazine.com/denise-lee-yohn/ don-t-forget-gen-z>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. Palley, Will. "Data Point: JWT Survey Finds Mixed Feelings about Social Networks among Gen Z Parents." JWT Intelligence. N.p., 4 May 2012. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www. jwtintelligence.com/2012/05/ jwt-survey-finds-mixed-feelings-social-networks-gen-parents/#axzz2vaOcj926>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. Nancy. "Insights into Today's Youngest Generation, Gen Z." Getting Gen Z. N.p., 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 6 Mar. 2014. <http://gettinggenz. com/2013/09/17/ cyberbullying-social-media-needs-to-take-social-responsibility/>. Lee Yohn, Denise. "Don't Forget Gen Z." QSR Magazine. N.p., Aug. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. <http://www. qsrmagazine.com/denise-lee-yohn/ don-t-forget-gen-z>. Larson, Eric. "How 'Slacktive' Is Gen Y? [STUDY]." Mashable. N.p., 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. <http:// mashable.com/2012/10/24/slacktivism-generation-y/>. Gen Z Says. "Gen Z's Deep Family Values." Gen Z Says. N.p., 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http:// genzsays.com/gen-zs-deep-familyvalues/>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. Tulgan, Bruce. "Column: High-Maintenance Generation Z Heads to Work." USA Today. N.p., 26 June 2012. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. <http:// usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/ opinion/forum/story/2012-06-27/generation-z-work-millenials-social-media-graduates/55845098/1>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013.
Schawbel, Dan. "Why 'Gen Z' May Be More Entrepreneurial than 'Gen Y.'" Entrepreneur. N.p., 3 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231048>. Richtel, Matt. "The Youngest Technorati." The New York Times. N.p., 8 Mar. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nytimes. com/2014/03/09/technology/ the-youngest-technorati.html?_r=0>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. Schawbel, Dan. "Why 'Gen Z' May Be More Entrepreneurial than 'Gen Y.'" Entrepreneur. N.p., 3 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231048>. Lee Yohn, Denise. "Don't Forget Gen Z." QSR Magazine. N.p., Aug. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. <http://www. qsrmagazine.com/denise-lee-yohn/ don-t-forget-gen-z>. UMR Research. Generation Z: Insights into the Lifestyles and Aspirations of Young Australians. N.p.: VISA, 2012. Print. Anatole, Emily. "Generation Z: Rebels with a Cause." Forbes. N.p., 28 May 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http:// www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2013/05/28/generation-z-rebelswith-a-cause/>. TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. "How Old Is Too Old to Be Living with Parents? Gen Z Says Age 28+ Would Be Embarrassing." Yahoo! Finance. N.p., 26 June 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ old-too-old-living-parents-120000673. html>. Everett-Haynes, La Monica. "Trending Now: Generation Z." University of Arizona News. N.p., 8 Nov. 2013. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. <http://uanews.org/ blog/trending-now-generation-z>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. Alter, Charlotte. "Oversharenting Victims Rebel: The Quest for Online Anonymity." Time. N.p., 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. <http:// time.com/2018/ oversharenting-victims-rebel-the-quest-for-online-anonymity/>. Alter, Charlotte. "Oversharenting Victims Rebel: The Quest for Online Anonymity." Time. N.p., 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. <http:// time.com/2018/ oversharenting-victims-rebel-the-quest-for-online-anonymity/>. Malcolm, Hadley. "Generation Z Worries about Paying for College, Getting a Job." USA Today. N.p., 20 June 2012. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <http://
usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/ perfi/basics/story/ 2012-06-19/generation-z-financial-habits/55694102/1> Alter, Charlotte. "Oversharenting Victims Rebel: The Quest for Online Anonymity." Time. N.p., 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. <http:// time.com/2018/ oversharenting-victims-rebel-the-quest-for-online-anonymity/>. Lee Yohn, Denise. "Don't Forget Gen Z." QSR Magazine. N.p., Aug. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. <http://www. qsrmagazine.com/denise-lee-yohn/ don-t-forget-gen-z>. JWT. "Gen Z: Digital in Their DNA." JWT Intelligence. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. <http://www. jwtintelligence.com/wp-content/ uploads/2012/04/F_INTERNAL_ Gen_Z_0418122.pdf>. "Generation Z Challenges." NC State University: Institute for Emerging Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. <http://iei.ncsu.edu/emerging-issues/ ongoing-programs/generation-z/ generation-z-challenges/>. "Teens Fact Sheet." PewResearch. PewResearch Internet Project, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www. pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teensfact-sheet/>. “Teens Fact Sheet.” PewResearch. PewResearch Internet Project, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www. pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teensfact-sheet/>. “Teens Fact Sheet.” PewResearch. PewResearch Internet Project, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www. pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teensfact-sheet/>. "Teens Fact Sheet." PewResearch. PewResearch Internet Project, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www. pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teensfact-sheet/>. "Teens Fact Sheet." PewResearch. PewResearch Internet Project, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www. pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teensfact-sheet/>. "Teens Fact Sheet." PewResearch. PewResearch Internet Project, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www. pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teensfact-sheet/>. Malcolm, Hadley. "Generation Z Worries about Paying for College, Getting a Job." USA Today. N.p., 20 June 2012. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <http://usatoday30.usatoday. com/money/perfi/basics/story/ 2012-06-19/generation-z-financialhabits/55694102/1>. Speculated through research and Anatole, Emily. "Generation Z: Rebels with a Cause." Forbes. N.p., 28 May 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/ onmarketing/2013/05/28/generationz-rebels-with-a-cause/>. Anatole, Emily. "Generation Z: Rebels with a Cause." Forbes. N.p., 28 May 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/ onmarketing/2013/05/28/generationz-rebels-with-a-cause/>.
Tucker, Abigail. "Jack Andraka, the Teen Prodigy of Pancreatic Cancer." Smithsonian.com. N.p., Dec. 2012. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www. smithsonianmag.com/sciencenature/ jack-andraka-the-teenprodigy-of-pancreatic-cancer135925809/?no-ist>. Deogriikar, Anjelika. "Celebrating “Open Science” Champions of Change at the White House." WhiteHouse.gov. Office of Science and Technology Policy, 21 June 2013. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www. whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/21/ celebrating-open-science-champions-change-white-house>. Cha, Ariana Eunjung. "Jack Andraka, Maryland’s Boy Wonder, on Mean Scientists, Homecoming and Tricorders." The Washington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost. com/ national/health-science/ jack-andraka-marylands-boy-wonder-on-mean-scientists-homecoming-and-tricorders/2013/12/02/ e15606be-4173-11e3-a62441d661b0bb78_story.html>. Borel, Brooke. "The High Schooler Who Invented a Promising Test for Pancreatic Cancer: A Q&A with ‘Teenage Optimist’." Ted.com. N.p., 11 July 2013. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://blog.ted.com/2013/07/11/ the-high-schooler-who-invented-apromising-test-for-pancreatic-cancer-a-qa-with-teenage-optimist-jackandraka/>. Borel, Brooke. "The High Schooler Who Invented a Promising Test for Pancreatic Cancer: A Q&A with ‘Teenage Optimist’." Ted.com. N.p., 11 July 2013. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://blog.ted.com/2013/07/11/ the-high-schooler-who-invented-apromising-test-for-pancreatic-cancer-a-qa-with-teenage-optimist-jackandraka/>. "Pancreatic Cancer Test Wins Intel ISEF Gordon E. Moore Award." Intel. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. <http:// www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ corporate-responsibility/ jack-andraka-reacts-to-award-video.html>. Jack Andraka. The Colbert Report. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2014. <http:// www.colbertnation.com/ thecolbert-report-videos/430096/ october-30-2013/jack-andraka>. Lampard, Andrew. "Teen Invents Flashlight That Could Change the World." Yahoo! News. N.p., 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://news. yahoo.com/blogs/this-could-be-bigabc-news/ teen-invents-flashlightcould-change-world-182121097. html>.
Restauri, Denise. "How Desperate Is Mattel to Make SI Swimsuit Barbie a Sex Object for Men?" Forbes. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www. forbes.com/sites/deniserestauri/2014/ 02/17/how-desperate-is-mattelto-make-si-swimsuit-barbie-a-sexobject-for-men/>. Wood, Stacy. "Generation Z as Consumers: Trends and Innovation." Institute for Emerging Issues. NC State University, n.d. Web. 8 May 2014. <http://iei.ncsu.edu/wp-content/ uploads/2013/01/ GenZConsumers. pdf>.
Sparks, Kira. "Four Realities about Generation Z (And Four Ways Brands Can Adapt)." Shoutlet. N.p., 1 Aug. 2013. Web. 6 Mar. 2014. <http:// www.shoutlet.com/blog/2013/08/ four-realities-about-generation-zand-four-ways-brands-can-adapt/>. Anatole, Emily. "Generation Z: Rebels with a Cause." Forbes. N.p., 28 May 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/ onmarketing/2013/05/28/generationz-rebels-with-a-cause/>. "The Vampire Diaries." Wikpedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ The_Vampire_ Diaries>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. Print. P. 180-181. Glomsten, Madeline. "Generation Z Rules the World." Envisage International. N.p., 8 Aug. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www. envisageinternational.com/ blog/2013/08/ generation-z-rulesthe-world/#.U2Ajza1dUht>. and Stanley, T.L. "Meet 12 of the Biggest Young Stars on YouTube." Adweek. N.p., 9 Mar. 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://www.adweek.com/news/ television/ meet-12-biggest-kids-starsyoutube-156180>.
YOUNG MOOLAH 1.
"Gen Z Shuns Credit Cards." LearnVest. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://www.learnvest. com/2013/07/gen-z-moving-awayfrom-credit-cards/>. "Immigrants Baffled by US Debt Culture | Voices of NY." Voices of NY. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.voicesofny. org/2012/10/immigrants-baffled-byus-debt-culture/>. "Why Young Americans." Young Americans Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://yacenter.org/ about-us/>. "Tri-Valley Bank offers student entrepreneur competition." Iowa Bankers Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http:// focusonfinancialed.com/2013/12/23/ tri-valley-bank-offers-studententrepreneur-competition/>.
"Thiel Fellowship." Thiel Fellowship. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http:// www.thielfellowship.org/>. "Quick LinksClose X." TD Ameritrade. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http:// www.amtd.com/newsroom/ research-and-story-ideas/researchand-story-ideas-details/2013/2013Gen-Z-Survey-How-Old-is-Too-Old-toBe-Living-With-Parents-Gen-Z-SaysAge-28-Would-Be-Embarrassing/ default.aspx>. "VISA SUPPORTS MONEYSMART WEEK."Visa Viewpoints Australia RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://australia.blog.visa.com/tag/ generation-z/>. "Resources." T Rowe Price Family Financial Education Media Kit. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http:// media.moneyconfidentkids.com/ resources/2013-parents-kids-andmoney-survey-results-summary/>.
1. 2. 3.
9. 10. 11.
MRI Iconoculture Advisory Brief: Gen We: Food and Food Messaging McKay, Holly. "Kids Cooking Competitions: Darling or Dangerous?" Fox News. N.p., 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.foxnews. com/entertainment/2013/10/10/ kids-cooking-competitions-darling-or-dangerous/>. Chiarello-Ebner, Kaylynn. "Keeping up with Gen Y and Gen Z." Whole Foods Magazine. N.p., Sept. 2009. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www. wholefoodsmagazine.com/columns/ editorial/ keeping-gen-y-and-gen-z>. Revelli, Stefania. "Hyatt’s New Restaurant Menu Is for Kids by Kids." Iconocuture Consumer Insights. N.p., 13 Aug. 2012. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <https://www.iconoculture.com/ SMART/Content/ View.aspx?ContentID=349887>. "Chobani to Expand Offerings amid Competition." ClickOn Detroit. N.p., 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. <http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifestyle/food/ chobani-to-expand-offerings-amid-competition/25552050>. McCaffrey, Megan. "9 Restaurants with Gourmet Children's Menus." Lohud. N.p., 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. <http://www.lohud.com/story/ life/food/restaurants/2014/04/01/ restaurants-kid-friendly-dining-westchester-rockland/7174339/>. Trauth, Erin. "U.S. Teens Want More Organic Food Choices." One Green Planet. N.p., 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/ u-s-teens-wantmore-organic-food-choices/>. MRI Institute for Emerging Issues. What's Next for Gen Z? N.p.: n.p., 2013. Print. Sifferlin, Alexandra. "Why Michelle Obama Went after Junk Food Ads." Time Healthland. N.p., 24 Feb.
2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http:// healthland.time.com/2014/02/25/ what-food-marketing-changes-means-for-health/#ixzz2uScbwFC2>. Anderson, Lane. “Obesity down for American Teens, except in Low-income Families.” Deseret News. N.p., 2 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www.deseretnews.com/ article/865595460/ Obesity-downfor-American-teens-except-in-lowincome-families.html?pg=all#w0oIHtChcXXRzEJZ.99>. Sifferlin, Alexandra. “Why Michelle Obama Went after Junk Food Ads.” Time Healthland. N.p., 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http:// healthland.time.com/2014/02/25/ what-food-marketing-changes-means-for-health/#ixzz2uScbwFC2>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. Webber, Liz. “Gen Y Flaky on Vegetarianism, Gen Z More Committed.” Supermarket News. N.p., 2 Jan. 2013. Web. 5 Apr. 2014. <http://supermarketnews. com/blog/ gen-y-flaky-vegetarianism-gen-z-more-committed#ixzz2zYaMYCGR>. Tavernise, Sabrina. “Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade.” The New York Times. N.p., 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. <http://www.nytimes. com/2014/02/26/health/ obesityrate-for-young-children-plummets43-in-a-decade.html?_r=0>. Aubrey, Allison. “How Caffeinated Are Our Kids? Coffee Consumption Jumps.” NPR.org. N.p., 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/10/274799765/ howcaffeinated-are-our-kids-cdc-findscoffee-consumption-jumps>. “All across America, Teens Are Demanding Organic.” Organic Connections. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. <http://organicconnectmag. com/across-america-teens-demanding-organic/#.U1W7Iq1dVgT>.
Mosbergen, Dominique. "Jacob Barnett, 14-Year-Old With Asperger's Syndrome, May Be Smarter Than Einstein." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 11 May 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www. huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/11/ jacob-barnett-autistic-14-year-oldnobel-prize_n_3254920.html>. TEDXTeen. Forget what you know: Jacob Barnett. YouTube. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. Renfro, Adam. "Z-enders Game."
Getting Smart Zenders Game Comments. N.p., 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://gettingsmart. com/2013/11/z-enders-game/>. Russell, Kyle. "The 9 Best IPad Apps For Your Kids." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 08 Nov. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www. businessinsider.com/the-best-ipadapps-for-kids-2013-11?op=1>. Willis Aronowitz, Nona. "The Interns Are Getting Younger: High Schoolers Hit the Workplace." NBC News. N.p., 10 Mar. 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nbcnews.com/ news/education/interns-are-getting-younger-high-schoolers-hitworkplace-n45146> "Cassandra Daily." Access Code. N.p., 6 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://cassandradaily.com/ tech/access-code/>. Sparks, Sarah D.. "Blog Ed Week." Education Week. NCES Releases Details on Homeschooling, 30 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http:// blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2013/08/nces_ releases_details_on_homes.html>. "Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDxUniversityofNevada." YouTube. YouTube, 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY#t=208>. Laplante, Logan. "Be You." Be You. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://redefineschool.com/logan-laplante-hacking-school/>. Banchero, Stephanie. "Now Teachers Encourage omputer Games in Class." The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 08 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://online. wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142 41278873246656045790810309431 42894>.
TAKING THEIR BALL 1.
Wallerson, Ryan. "Youth Participation Weakens in Basketball, Football, Baseball, Soccer." Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones and Company, Inc., 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 8 May 2014. <http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230351940457 9350892629229918>. Parker, Krisha, and Daniel R. Czech. "The Preferred Coaching Styles of Generation Z Athletes: A Qualitative Study." International Sport Coaching Journal 5.2 (2012): n. pag. Print. Bruno, Barbara. "NFL Concussion Lawsuit's Ripple Effect: Should the Young People in Your Life Play Sports?" Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, 9 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 May 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost. com/barbara-bruno/nfl-concussion-lawsuits-r_b_3979336.html>. Yellin, Deena. "North Jersey youth baseball leagues find fewer kids on
deck - See more at: http://www. northjersey.com/sports/north-jersey-youth-baseball-leagues-findfewer-kids-on-deck-1.735797#sthash.cH14F6WP.jVp1FrWz.dpuf." NorthJersey.com. North Jersey Media Group, 9 Mar. 2014. Web. 8 May 2014. <http://www.northjersey. com/sports/ north-jersey-youthbaseball-leagues-find-fewer-kidson-deck-1.735797>. "Decline in Golfers Around the World — What’s the Cause and What can be Done about it?" Striker Golf GPS. Strike Golf GPS LLC, 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 8 May 2014. <http://www.strikergolfgps.com/ decline-in-golfers-around-the-worldwhats-the-cause-and-what-can-bedone-about-it/>. Sens, Josh. "Could a 15-Inch Hole Be the Answer to Golf's Growth Problem? TaylorMade CEO Mark King Says It's Time to Find out." Golf. com. N.p., 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www.golf.com/ tour-and-news/ hack-golf-aimsgrow-game-taylormade-sponsoredbrainstorm-session>.
DIVERSITY 1. 2.
The Free Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 May 2014. <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pluralist>. Magid Generational Strategies. "The First Generation of the Twenty-First Century." Magid. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://magid.com/ sites/default/files/pdf/ MagidPluralistGenerationWhitepaper.pdf>. Brainy Quote. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/ janeelliot193942.html>. David. "Getting Ready for Generation Z." Impact International. N.p., 13 Feb. 2012. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <http://www.impactinternational.com/blog/2012/02/ getting-ready-generation-z#axzz2thQUgXCy)>. Magid Generational Strategies. "The First Generation of the Twenty-First Century." Magid. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://magid.com/ sites/default/files/pdf/MagidPluralistGenerationWhitepaper.pdf>. Craighill, Peyton M., and Scott Clement. "Support for Same-Sex Marriage Hits New High; Half Say Constitution Guarantees Right." Washington Post. N.p., 4 Mar. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www. washingtonpost.com/politics/ support-for-same-sex-marriage-hitsnew-high-half-say-constitution-guarantees-right/2014/03/04/ f737e87ea3e5-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story. html>. Dinh, James. "Perez Hilton Vows to Stop Bullying Celebs on 'Ellen.'" MTV News. N.p., 13 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://www.mtv.com/ news/articles/1649894/ perez-hiltonvows-stop-bullying-celebs-on-ellen. jhtml>.
Ad Campaign." Fashionista. N.p., 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://fashionista.com/2014/02/ androgynous-model-andrej-pejic-isback-in-new-ad-campaign/>. Hamburger, Ellis. "Facebook Moves beyond 'Male' and 'Female' with Custom Gender Options." The Verge. N.p., 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www.theverge. com/2014/2/13/5408722/ facebook-new-gender-options-male-female-other-lgbt>. Vega, Cecilia, and Matt Knox. "Coke Defiantly to Air Longer Version of ‘America the Beautiful’ Ad." ABC News. N.p., 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://abcnews. go.com/blogs/business/ 2014/02/ coke-defiantly-to-air-longer-versionof-america-the-beautiful-ad/>. Nudd, Tim. "Ad of the Day: Cheerios Brings Back Its Famous Interracial Family for the Super Bowl." AdWeek. N.p., 29 Jan. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.adweek. com/news/advertising-branding/ ad-day-cheerios-brings-back-its-famous-interracial-family-super-bowl-155302>.
PINK & BLUE
Magid Generational Strategies. "The First Generation of the Twenty-First Century." Magid. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://magid.com/ sites/default/files/pdf/ MagidPluralistGenerationWhitepaper.pdf>. Boysen, Anne. "Growing up with Princess Inc." After the Millennials. N.p., 20 Apr. 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://afterthemillennials. com/2011/04/20/growing-up-girl-inthe-princess-age/>. Orenstein, Peggy. "What's Wrong with Cinderella?" New York Times. N.p., 24 Dec. 2006. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nytimes. com/2006/12/24/magazine/24princess.t.html?_r=0>. Alphonse, Lylah M. "Gender-Neutral Easy-Bake Oven? Hasbro Responds to 13-year-old Petitioner with New Design." Yahoo! Shine. N.p., 12 Dec. 2012. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. <http:// Gender-Neutral Easy-Bake Oven? Hasbro Responds to 13-year-old Petitioner with New Design>. Murphy, Eliza. "GoldieBlox Crushes Girl Stereotypes With Jaw-Dropping Engineering Toys." ABC News. N.p., 20 Nov. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/ lifestyle/2013/11/ goldieblox-crushes-girl-stereotypes-with-jaw-dropping-engineering-toys/>. Lidsky, David. "The World's Most Innovative Companies 2014: Goldieblox (40)." Fast Company.
N.p., 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.fastcompany.com/ most-innovative-companies/2014/ goldieblox>. Consoli, John. "MBPT Spotlight: Study Advises Brands to Market Gender-Neutral—Or Risk Losing Gen Y and Gen Z Consumers." Broadcasting Cable. N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www. broadcastingcable.com/news/ news-articles/ mbpt-spotlight-studyadvises-brands-market-gender-neutral-or-risk-losing-gen-y-and-gen-zconsumers/127678>. Consoli, John. "MBPT Spotlight: Study Advises Brands to Market Gender-Neutral—Or Risk Losing Gen Y and Gen Z Consumers." Broadcasting Cable. N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www. broadcastingcable.com/news/ news-articles/ mbpt-spotlight-studyadvises-brands-market-gender-neutral-or-risk-losing-gen-y-and-gen-zconsumers/127678>. Svitek, Patrick. "George Mason U. to Offer Gender-Neutral Housing Next Fall." The Washington Post. N.p., 16 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost. com/local/ george-mason-university-to-offer-gender-neutralhousing-in-fall-2014/2014/02/16/ dd35a506-8e91-11e3-b22712a45d109e03_story.html>. Svitek, Patrick. "George Mason U. to Offer Gender-Neutral Housing Next Fall." The Washington Post. N.p., 16 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/ local/ george-mason-university-tooffer-gender-neutral-housing-infall-2014/2014/02/16/ dd35a5068e91-11e3-b227 12a45d109e03_story. html>.
SOCIAL MEDIA 1. 2. 3.
Bilton, Nick. "Disruptions: For Teenagers, a Car or a Smartphone?." Bits Disruptions For Teenagers a Car or a Smartphone Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://bits.blogs. nytimes.com/2011/11/20/a-teenagequestion-a-car-or-a-smartphone/?_ php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0>. "What Can We Expect From Generation Z? - PSFK." PSFK RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http:// www.psfk.com/2013/12/generation-z-the-curve-report.html#!zuhmh>.
Iconoculture Iconoculture Berelowitz, Marian. "Going Private in Public with Whisper and Anonymous Sharing." JWT Intelligence. N.p., 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 May 2014. <http:// www.jwtintelligence.com/2014/02/ private-public-whisper-anonymous-sharing/#axzz2uNBoRYLV>. The Intelligence Group. Cassandra Report Z: The Next Generation. N.p.: Cassandra Report, 2013. "The Z Factor and Introducing the Centennials." The Curve Report. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://thecurvereport.comcategory/trends/ the-z-factor/>.
"Generation Z, the Smartphone, and Travel." TechNewsGadget. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://technewsgadget.net/2012/07/generation-z-smartphone-travel/>. "Following Generation Z" "Think Insights" Google, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://www.thinkwithgoogle. com/articles/following-generation-z. html>.
Magid Generational Strategies. "An Introduction to the Pluralist Generation." Magid. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://magid.com/sites/default/files/pdf/ MagidPluralistGenerationWhitepaper.pdf>. Iconoculture. Fast Facts: Gen We Kaluza, Rory. "A Few Tips on Targeting Generation Z." Branding Magazine. N.p., 29 Sept. 2013. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www.brandingmagazine. com/2013/08/29/tips-on-targeting-generation-z/>. Stringfellow, Angela. "How Can Your Brand More Effectively Reach Today’s Media-Savvy Tweens?: 23 Advertising & Marketing Experts Share Their Advice." Fashion Playtes. N.p., 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://about.fashionplaytes.com/ can-brand-effectively-reach-todaysmedia-savvy-tweens-22-marketingexperts-share-advice/>. Fillo, MaryEllen. "Alex and Ani Bracelets." Hartford Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2014. <http://hartfordmag.com/article-1527-alex-and-anibracelets.html>.
Martina K Photography. "230/365." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www.flickr.com/ photos/martinaphotography/7281827002>. Schipul, Ed. "Adora Svitak." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/eschipul/5105069684/>.
Pink Sherbet Photography. "Love Shines Through The Darkness." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ pinksherbet/1535763813>.
Reyes, Justine. "Watch Your Step." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ justien/6681780851>.
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Stoneburner, Walt. "Potter's Hands." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www.flickr.com/ photos/waltstoneburner/5745387762>. v
GROWING UP Hidalgo, Leo. "Love + Sunset." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ ileohidalgo/9386364358>. 55Laney69 Photography. "艺术." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/hansel5569/7598734148>. Varkevisser, Nicki. "Leap of Faith." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www.flickr.com/ photos/clickflashphotos/2824142858>. Martina K Photography. "229/365." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www.flickr.com/ photos/martinaphotography/7273286382>.
TEDx Renfrew Collingwood. "TEDxRCW_1059_MJPH." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ tedxrenfrewcollingwood/10425613583/>. Intel Free Press. "Jack Andraka 2012 ISEF Winner." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/intelfreepress/8252212719/>.
ENTERTAINING *saipal. "Pioneer." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/ saipal/2646935127>. Johnson, Gavin. "Hollywood Sign Hike." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www.flickr. com/photos/23629211@ N04/4568999363/>.
YOUNG MOOLAH Magill, Andrew. "Money." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/amagill/3367543094>.
EDU-HACKING Clemens v. Vogelsang. "In the dark..." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ vauvau/5356850033>. USFWSmidwest. "Nature Journaling." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest/4901588166>. Chekhter, Dmitri. "IMG_7366." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ dchex/7484476210>. Baird, Mike. "Father And Son Surf Lesson in Morro Bay." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/2127310513>.
DIVERSITY Ajari. "Touch of Solitude." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ ajari/5230541178>.
Ooi, Phalinn. "Open House Aidilfitri 2012." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/phalinn/7968079874>.
Knoch, Alexander. "Sisters Holding Hands After Kids Race." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/alexknoch/9481330071>.
TAKING THEIR BALL
Spinster Cardigan. "Mother's Bounty." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www.flickr. com/photos/84906483@ N08/7784187292>. Maramis, Pascal. "My Little Kid." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/pascalmaramis/12274034434/>.
Harjadi, Victoria. "as if time stops.. and stay." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2014. <https://www.flickr. com/photos/vharjadi/5954695452>. Ibrahim, Al. "Rust Machinery II." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/ photos/crazysphinx/4036607915>.
RESERVATIONS Hidalgo, Leo. "Quick Sunset." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/ileohidalgo/12374584704>.
SOCIAL MEDIA 55Laney69 Photography. "Childish Melancholy." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/hansel5569/7556589672>. Downing, Jenny. "Toddler Apps." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ jenny-pics/5661879987/>.
MOVING TARGET Thejbird. "Ivy at the Top of Mt. Soledad." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www.flickr.com/ photos/jbird/3283356088>. Hidalgo, Leo. "Careful." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/ileohidalgo/11797778783>.
FOOTNOTES WoodleyWonderWorks. "He's A Low Key Kid." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https://www. flickr.com/photos/wwworks/2867121616>.
PHOTO CREDITS Kubina, Jeff. "Bubble Catcher." Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <https:// www.flickr.com/photos/ kubina/185188456>.
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Published on May 9, 2014
Published on May 9, 2014
While the rest of the world is fixated on Millennials, we've turned our focus to the next wave of consumers who have the rapidly expanding i...