People like complaining about new generations. Almost every negative quality in this world has been said about Millennials in the last 5-10 years. Currently the same trend applies to Generation Z members. They have already been said to be unrealistically demanding, paralysed without technology, unable to focus and generally not prepared for the workplace.
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We don’t want to argue and deny all of these opinions here – some of the fears are true and you can read the results of very thorough IGEN Project survey HERE to know more. The aim of this article is making all of us look at Generation Z from the different angle. To notice how many useful trends they have been introducing to the society and how many changes they will make in the future, especially from the economical point of view.
What is new?
We can start the list. Young people are believed to be open to novelty and ambiguity, to different lifestyles. They are more tolerant, regardless whether it concerns religion, race, sex, age or sexual orientation. Young EU members have lived with open borders for most of their lives and met lots of different people from other countries and continents using social media or playing online games. Foreign languages are more natural to them; they also value the unlimited access to knowledge and information online. They are more ecologically conscious, they care about our planet and act naturally the way the older generations had to learn. They are also more conscious when it comes to economy – they don’t fall into consumerism so easily, they like quality, usefulness and other intangible values. Impressive, isn’t it?
We would like to talk more about the last feature and introduce you to meaningful economy. This is a megatrend that has been visible in the last 5 years or more, although in some countries it is still a novelty and a breakthrough. It is a general term for consumer behaviours that reflect the opinion that meaning of our actions and possessions makes us happier than the ownership itself and the excessive consumption. If the companies want to attract young people’s attention, they have to add value to the lives of their customers and to the society in general, instead of just fulfilling their needs.
There are multiple examples of how it works. Some of them concerns putting customers’ focus on the environment. The plastic bottles with water are changed into glass or multiple use filters. It is also about paying attention where do the clothes we buy come from and making sure that no workers from the third world were harmed to make our clothes cheaper. It is visible in bigger cities, when there are more and more zero waste grocery stores being opened. People are willing to pay more to support local farmers and producers.
Why should we care?
The consumer is getting more conscious and demanding. Brands are doing their best to show, that they make a difference and they care. Companies tend to personalize products, support minorities, care about the family lives of their workers or invest into social campaigns. The knowledge of modern trends and general changes in the society is a key factor of keeping every business alive and well.