We recently published an infographic about marketing toward Generation Z. One of the first people we reached out to was Nancy Nessel, a generational expert. We asked Nancy to take a look at our infographic, and she graciously published it on her blog.
The reason we reached out to Nancy is because she is a well-known generational expert, who has a serious amount of experience in the field of both marketing and generational research. In 2012, Nancy founded GettingGenZ.com, in which she blogs about the finicky 15 year olds that marketers are having trouble understanding. Nancy’s blog was inspired by observing kids and teens today constantly on their phones, and launched the blog to start to further identify emerging trends.
Nancy utilizes her 10 years of brand management and marketing experience dedicated to multi-generational consumer behavior, as well as her keen understanding on emerging demographics to provide prescient insight into marketing toward teenagers.
We had a casual phone conversation with Nancy about our infographic, her background, as well as a broad discussion on the personality and behavior of Gen Z teens.
Here are the main takeaways which we think are invaluable to any marketer who is struggling to understand today’s teenagers:
- Teens today were bought up in a different manner than Millennials, and are much more altruistic and care about the world. They are not selfish, and are more pragmatic. Millennials, by comparison, are more selfish and self-centered.
- Despite or perhaps due to the volatile and digital world we live in, teens today crave stability, while Millennials are still figuring themselves out.
- Some of the effects of their craving stability as well as altruistic tendencies lends itself toward their brand behavior, as teens are very brand loyal, and prefer medium sized, independent brands, especially those that seek to change the world.
- The notion of altruism and independence also manifests itself with the big influencers – they do their own thing. They act less like celebrities and more about what they stand for, and causes that are important to them.
- The notion of celebrities is also evolving, as teens today prefer a smart, authentic figure as opposed to a generic and dumb celebrity.
- Nancy also consulted with the Chicago White Sox, a major league baseball team. The issue with increased technology is that teens are less inclined to go to baseball games, and that companies and brands in general need to find ways to increase their entertainment value to get teenagers out of their homes.
- The most enduring theme seems to be authenticity. Teens care less about flash and more about genuineness.