The global youth culture of Gen Z has transformed the consumer marketplace.
Gen Z are a large and impacting generation, making up almost a quarter of the world’s population (24%). With approximately 1.8 billion Gen Zs globally, there is no question that their impact on the consumer marketplace is already being realised.
The global marketplace was first transformed by the platform of online shopping, where digital technologies have connected brands and companies in unprecedented ways. This accessible and online marketplace has empowered Gen Zs to start their own business or revenue stream with ease, as the barriers to enter the marketplace are now so low with reduced risks.
The global community has been further facilitated by how Gen Z collaborate and create content. What used to be a traditional mass media saturated marketplace, with the largest brands taking the forefront, is now being redefined by the consumers themselves. The role of consumer has been transformed into a platform where consumers can collaborate and co-create with brands and companies, the content that they consume.
So how can businesses engage with this generation of global collaborators?
- Invite consumers to co-create
Many global brands are creating a platform for consumers to co-create with them, which has developed a new relationship between company and customer. This invitation has opened a new platform for creativity, connection and collaboration.
Fashion brands such as footwear designers ‘Nike’ and ‘Vans’, for example, have invited customers to custom design their own shoes. Businesses now have an opportunity to widen the realm of possibilities, as innovation and creation has moved from the staff within your company to the endless collaboration pool of customers.
- Harness the power of crowd sourcing
This generation of global collaborators have unprecedented power to shape brands, companies and sway public opinion. Their personal connection and insight into your brand is of high value to the growth and potential of your brand.
“It is no longer what organisations say about themselves but what others say about them which has the greatest impact.” HELLO GEN Z: ENGAGING THE GENERATION OF POST-MILLENNIALS
Effective businesses are harnessing the power of crowd sourcing through creating opportunities for people to create, share and vote on content. In 2016, The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in Britain held a campaign to decide the name of their new £200 million polar research ship. By public voting polls, the name “RSS Boaty McBoatface” won by a landslide with over 124,000 votes. The NERC went on to name the ship “RRS Sir David Attenborough”, and named one of the craft’s underwater vehicles “Boaty McBoatface”!i This campaign went viral, becoming widely known globally.
Businesses have an opportunity to engage and collaborate directly with the global community through digital platforms such as social media, capitalising on the public sway and power of the consumer. As the global youth culture has been shaped in a world where content is no longer only created by the ‘experts’ but by the collaborative community, the platforms for businesses, brands and companies to harness this innovative trait is endless.
Based on extracts from the book Hello Gen Z: Engaging the Generation of Post-Millennials.
Hello Gen Z is the new book from Claire Madden, Australia’s foremost social researcher on generational engagement.
With a foreword by Bernard Salt, this book will help organisations, educators, leaders and parents understand what has shaped this extraordinary group of young people. Order a copy of the book here. Bulk order discounts are also available.
Claire lives in Sydney, travels Australia and internationally speaking on topics around Generation Z, demographics, and helping get the most out of the emerging workforce. To see more snippets of her work, or to enquire about Claire speaking at your next event, follow Claire at clairemadden.com