Going from hours spent on college campuses and calendars full of social events to hours spent in Zoom classrooms and newsfeeds full of TikTok videos, Gen Z’s world was turned upside down last year. But what do these changes mean for marketing to this forever-changed generation?
Here are some predictions about the future spending habits and behaviors of a COVID-affected Generation Z.
This already health-conscious group is likely to spend the rest of their lives with health on the forefront of their minds. According to a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association, three-quarters of those between the ages of 18 and 23 worry that their health will impact their life experiences. While this age group was the least likely to experience severe health complications related to COVID-19, they saw firsthand the impacts of the virus.
In this survey, Gen Z was most concerned about their health and its affect on missing important life moments, but what really stood out was what they consider to be those important life moments. Gen Z ranked traveling and earning a degree as two of their most important life milestones versus earlier generations, which were more concerned with having children.
So how can brands engage with this health-conscious and COVID-affected generation?
Health and fitness brands have a tremendous opportunity to capture the Gen Z audience looking to eat healthier and exercise more post-pandemic. Student Beans found that 60 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds said taking part in sports or going to the gym was what they were looking forward to doing most after the pandemic.
Health and fitness brands: The eyes of Gen Zers—and $143 billion in spending power—are on you, so don’t blow it.
As for non-health and fitness brands, remember that health conscious includes overall wellness, self-care and environmental sustainability. And, when all else fails, never forget the impact of a viral TikTok.
Next in line, we have the youngest generation, Gen C or Generation COVID, those born between 2016 and the mid-2030s. This group will be heavily affected by the pandemic and include many children who do not remember or know a world before COVID-19.
This TikTok video that recently went viral explains the phenomenon well.
This generation is being compared to the children of the Great Depression, and what researchers said during that time is true today—there is no knowing exactly how this experience will affect children.
However, according to a CNN article, parents’ reactions to the pandemic will heavily influence their children’s responses, especially young children. The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that what started as a public health emergency has become a mental health crisis for children and adolescents.
While we don’t know a lot about the future of Gen C, we know that their lives will be ruled by technology, and they will experience many aspects of their life in a virtual world. Many of them have spent their entire lives watching their parents operate completely remotely, and this technology will only get more advanced by the time they enter the working world.
For reaching this younger generation as they grow up, it will be essential for companies to adapt to the technological advances around them. Technology will move quickly but in order to reach younger and younger generations, companies will need to catch up.
Verdin can help you reach Gen Z and Gen C. Reach out at www.verdinmarketing.com for more information.