Cross-cultural Gen Z

June 24, 2016

Posted by Jose Villa

Move over Millennials – here comes Gen Z. Who are they? Definitions vary but most demographers define Gen Z – also referred to as Centennials, iGen, or Plurals – as consumers born between 1995 and 2010.

Gen Z is starting to get as much attention as Millennials, and rightfully so. Besides their sheer size – there are 83 million Americans under 20 who represent 25.9% of the U.S. population – they are the first generation born after the Internet age. They are also the last generation to be majority non-Hispanic white (52.9%). As I noted in a previous article, if the mixed-ethnicity Hispanic-White population of Gen Z is added to the multicultural total, Gen Z is actually the first minority-majority generation in American history.

The last point is critical, as it underpins one of the most important characteristics of Gen Z that most early studies have failed to properly analyze. How will their cultural diversity make them different? How will coming of age in a truly multicultural world affect their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors? This was the catalyst behind the upcoming research initiative, “We Are Gen Z” Report, a collaboration between my agency Sensis and ThinkNow Research.

GenZReport logoThe We Are Gen Z Report is the first national Gen Z study to take a cross-cultural view of Gen Z. We Are Gen Z takes a holistic approach to understanding the segment of Gen Z born between 1995 and 2005, presenting an in-depth analysis of the brands, influencers, behaviors and ideals that matter most to the patchwork of Hispanic, African-American, Non-Hispanic White and Asian Gen Zers.

Some initial findings from the We Are Gen Z Report provide an interesting glimpse into the cross-cultural under 20 population.

Family over Celebs

The most prominent role models for Gen Z are their parents, specifically moms. This is particularly the case among Hispanic (47%) and African-American (51%) Gen Z. This is in stark contrast to celebrities and social media influencers, who less than 17% of Gen Z consider role models.

The Brands I Choose Matter

Very few Gen Zers like brands their friends like. This is particularly the case for Hispanic and Asian (77%) Gen Z. Yet they are looking for brands that help them stand out – particularly among African-American (61%) and Asian (55%) Gen Z.

Culture Matters

Culture is a core indicator of identity for Gen Z. When asked to elaborate on what culture means to them, words like beautiful, complex, loud, creative, mixed and unique show up frequently. African American Gen Z have a strong sense of cultural pride (64%) following Hispanics (55%), Asians (47%), and then Whites (37%).

Yet culture is complicated. Interestingly, cross-cultural Gen Z are attracted to people who are of different ethnicities and races. This was particularly the case for Hispanics (70%), Non-Hispanic White (71%) and African-American (67%) Gen Z. Moreover, as one of the study participants noted:

I would describe my culture as part of who I am, but only part. I am more than my race

Our research indicates that a majority of Gen Z will define their cultural identity in fundamentally different ways from their predecessors. By embracing and balancing multiple cultures they are moving their cultural identity beyond simple definitions of race and ethnicity. How marketers and brands use culture to connect with this truly multicultural generation will require a fundamentally different thinking.

An edited version of this article originally ran on MediaPost Engage:Hispanic on June 23, 2016

Multicultural Millennial Content Marketing

June 12, 2016

Posted by Jose Villa

When most marketers think about Millennials, they often miss the fact that almost half (43 percent) of all Millennials living in the U.S. today are multicultural Millennials – Hispanic, Asian, African-American, or mixed-race Millennials. Some put a heavy emphasis on Hispanic Millennials. Those same marketers forget that 23 percent of the Millennial population are African-American, READ MORE…

The Social and Mobile World of Hispanic Millennials

May 26, 2016

Posted by Jose Villa

Hispanic Millennials have come of age with technology and social media. Not surprisingly, they have become very adept in using technology in their daily lives and staying connected to the world around them. The most recent wave of the Hispanic Millennial Project provides an in-depth view into the social media and mobile lives of Hispanic READ MORE…

Introducing Cross-culturalism

April 29, 2016

Posted by Jose Villa

I’ve discussed how Corporate America is increasingly “moving multicultural out of the silos.” Marketplace dynamics are driving this shift, initially and clumsily, in the form of the total market approach, as brands look to stay relevant and grow in the increasingly minority-majority reality of Millennial and Gen Z populations. There is another factor underpinning the READ MORE…

Hispanics and Healthcare

February 25, 2016

Posted by Jose Villa

While a lot has been written about Hispanics and healthcare, particularly in relation to the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, not enough attention has been paid to the opportunity they represent. Hispanics are a vital consumer segment for the large and growing healthcare industry, not just a population to be managed. The expanding population READ MORE…