Sitting at a communal desk, in a creative agency, in Shoreditch surrounded by Millennials it’s easy to think that the secret to staying ahead of trends and abreast of all things new has been cracked. But of course, that’s an annoyingly Millennial thing to say. Because, as much as we hate to admit it our time in the spotlight is dwindling. There’s another generation not so far behind, and their needs will soon be taking centre stage. Anyone else feel like they’ve just been told they’re getting a new baby brother, by parents who know we don’t play well with others… Just me? ‘Kay.
Barkley are adjusting to these newcomers much better than us however, and have bought us some time before we personally have to start sharing our toys acknowledging that their habits will soon be much more significant in setting trends than our own. They’ve conducted a study on how this new generation will operate, and here’s what it’s taught us so far
Gen Z or the Pivotal Generation as they’ve been dubbed seem to have a mindset that is much closer to that of the Baby Boomer generation and their grandparents. Although they are generations apart from the Baby Boomers they both have been raised in a time where it was impossible to shield them from the adult world. Of course one had to the effects of a war to contend with while the other witnessed the uncertain times of a recession.These conditions have still managed to create remarkably similar ideals.
Barkley’s study revealed that Generation Z are said to value personal success, a strong work ethic and responsible money management. Their needs appear to have been stripped back to the more traditional. But combine this with the fact that they’ve only ever known a tech centred world that provides them with instant gratification, they will undoubtedly be a generation that demands much more from brands. Diversity and equality will be an expectation rather than a pleasant surprise. Because they have and will have unlimited access to an unlimited amount of perspectives, there will be no choice but to reflect that.
Although it isn’t yet known what the exact demands of this fluid generation will be. One thing’s for certain, brands will have to start considering Gen Z sooner than perhaps any of us are ready to think about. Because as we’ve seen before what works for one almost certainly never works for the other. They’re people (albeit at the moment relatively small people) who are growing up in a completely different world to us- whether that’ll make them better at adulting remains to be seen.