The first generation Millennials are the 25-34 year olds, who are in work, wondering how they will buy a house, starting families, growing beards and demanding a non-toxic life. Generation Z are the younger Millennials who have a whole different outlook. Well of course they do… they are working through their education and working out what direction they want their life to go. But they are also grewing up with amazing technology, personalisation, cyber life, deep space probes, epidemic cancer, extreme pollution and changing political powers.
Noreena Hertz wrote in The Guardian how she calls them Generation K after Katniss Everdeen, the determined heroine of the Hunger Games. Like Katniss they feel the world is tough, unjust and inhuman. Hertz interviewed 2000 teens over 18 months and finds a generation who feel anxious and distrustful.
“I think The Hunger Games resonates with them so much because they are Katniss navigating a dark and difficult world,” says Hertz, who interviewed 2,000 teenagers from the UK and the US about their hopes, fears and beliefs, concluding that today’s teens are shaped by three factors: technology, recession and coming of age in a time of great unease.
How can you engage with this generation?
The telegraph stated earlier this year that Generation K are terrified about everything; global warming, inequality, terrorism and a failing economy. But is this so new… doesn’t every generation have a list of fears unique to that time, I remember being terrified of AIDs, football hooligans, the IRA and nuclear war.
However, the effect of technology is far more profound. Most Generation K’s are technically and creatively adept at making their own films, with aps like iMovies, Musically, Instagram this generation don’t just send a file of their favorite pictures, they create a film. Technology feels intuitive and digital connectivity is as fundamental as getting dressed in the morning.
What is exciting about this generation is that they are looking for brand authenticity and shared values, and they want see their brand reaching out to them in the digital world they have grown up in.
Innocent was highlighted as a brand who have trust and loyalty with this generation.
How can you reach out to this generation?
1 – Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) looks to be an advertising medium that this tribe can engage with. The Lego Super Heroes campaign is a good example of DOOH and experiential production
2 – Near Field Communication (NFC) and Quick Response (QR) enabled 6 sheets tunes into the Generation K intuitive connectivity and digital sharing lifestyle. The tap and scan at enabled 6 sheet sights to download vouchers, add to basket, download music etc. Animated Digital 6 Sheets take a step in this directly also, with the moving image interrupting their attention.
3 – Creating social chatter and sharing opportunities around your brand; games, apps, creative innovation. Using direct and clear language, or even better using imagery and video to do the talking for you.
4 – Short, authentic easily shared video content provides an opportunity for this generation to make a statement about their own values and beliefs. Hertz also points out that they also want to co-create, as a generation of creators and inventors they want to “…imprint their voice on products, services and media, and become part of the design and creation process”. A point I can personally agree with as my own tweens edit away on iphone apps creating avatars, musical.ly creations, and snapchat selfie lenses.
5 – Deliver trustworthy sustainability. Generation K find it common sense to NOT pollute the planet and to ensure all production is sustainable.
They are the generation likely to make unsustainable production processes and lifestyle as unsociable as smoking and more recently as unsociable as driving and using your mobile phone.
Adidas taps into them with their recently launched recycled ocean plastic trainers. Lets hope to see these being stocked across the globe.
So to sum up
These are the key threads your brand and coming campaigns should be focusing on.
Have fun !!!