We know that things are not what they used to be. We also know that every cloud has a silver lining and so on, but if also the people of Generation Z continue to change before we manage to understand them, maybe it’s a bit too much for us too.
Of course, the last two years have been very special, and they may have accelerated the change. In any case in the current narrative about the girls & boys born from 1995 to 2010 some things certainly need to be reviewed. This is what emerges from a survey just carried out by Eumetra International with 10,000 interviews between Germany, France, Italy, Uk and Spain.
A comparison to the other generations has deepened their values, their basic attitudes, their purchasing behaviors and has identified media and tone of voice to communicate with them. We were under the impression that they were the absolute champions of respect for nature, devoted to independence, with a new, freer way of thinking and relating to the world of work, perhaps based on the age-old ability to make a virtue out of necessity. This is no longer entirely the case. On some aspects they have been overtaken by the older ones, for example in respect for nature. On other aspects, they have moved closer to more usual models, for example in their relationship with money and in their expectations of work.
This is no longer necessarily independent and evolving but – hopefully – secure and remunerative and, above all, suited to their needs. The key step is precisely this: a greater focus on oneself, perhaps as a consequence of the pandemic.
Certainly, this period has left a lot of after-effects on them: anger in some, a desire to make up for lost time in others, and for many – perhaps too many – a feeling of inescapable loneliness, first forced and now desired, necessary for their balance.
These scars were mixed with the physiological changes of growing up, especially having to start coming to terms with a future that perhaps none of the previous generations had had to face under such uncertain conditions. Finding the link between each cause and its effect is a complex exercise, especially as some of these young people are now 25 years old and have already started to live the future. So, let’s look at them for what they are: individuals approaching adulthood, destined to play a fundamental role in a difficult context. Yes, they are different from their predecessors, but they are not Martians.
And when they experience life’s twists and turns, they end up being more like us than we think. A final service note, useful for those who see them as buyers of their products. We knew they were far from the world of brands, and this was confirmed. But now they also need guidance in the consumption choices they are required to make. They are blank sheets of paper, and Eumetra International’s survey identified what needs to be written on them, when and how to engage them in consumer choices.