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June 15, 2016
Usually labeled as “screen addicts” or “lazy children”, Generation Z offers a whole lot more to the business world than we can predict. Although we don’t yet know them at their adulthood, we can predict their future and their potential contributions to the business world by analysing the environment they grow up in.
First, we should define the term. They are the generation born between years 1995-2012, they will have reached their adulthood around the years 2013-2020 and they will make up 40% of consumers in the world by 2020.
The environment they absorb since their birth is progressively more diverse than it has ever been. Social media is more sophisticated than ever, and technology is constantly changing and improving. This obviously affects the way they see, experience and judge the world around them. They are highly keen on finding new opportunities, new techniques, new media and they are able to adjust to all of these.
They are not “screen addicts”, they are the managers of their own brands. They’re constantly managing and perfecting the way they present themselves to the world, in social media and to their elders. On one hand they work hard to fit in with their peers, on the other hand they strive to be taken seriously by their seniors. They are ready to plan ahead—unlike Millennials they are not distracted, they take financial stability seriously.
We might see them as the generation that only has “8 seconds of attention span”, and dismiss them for being distracted, uninterested, and spoiled. What we ignore while doing this, is the constant data flow in our age. There is information everywhere, available anytime to anyone who wishes. Therefore, Generation Z is obliged to sort through the waves of information one way or another—they skim, scan and choose the content that stands out the most.
In order to get to them, we need to be engaging, and keep in mind that whatever we offer has to be immediately beneficial. We shouldn’t force our ways on them, we should get on their level, meet them in the middle. Keep in mind that they are professional researchers, they don’t need us to teach them the old ways, but we need them to succeed.
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StratejiCo. is an independent Turkish corporate and public affairs consultancy firm, providing trusted advice to multinational companies and government institutions in Eurasia since 1987.