iGen wants, more than anything, to be unique.

Posted On June 12, 2017

We’re all concerned about finding out what millennials want, and with good reason. They are the largest segment of the workforce and the largest segment of consumers.

But it would also be wise to have an eye focused on what’s coming behind them.

Some call them Generation Z, or iGen, while Skyler Huff of millennialmarketing.com calls today’s teenagers the Pivotal Generation. They share the technological savvy and many of the forward-thinking views of millennials, Huff says, but they also pivot toward many of the same traditional values as Baby Boomers.

Generation Z – or Pivotals, if you will – want to work for, and earn, what they get. They are motivated toward traditional Boomer-associated ideas of success – money, education, a career. This may be a reaction to the “entitled” epithet that they hear hurled so often at millennials.

Their beliefs, however, are far more liberal than Boomers. They’re believers in equality – racial equality, gender equality and sexual orientation equality. In pushing these agendas, however, they exchange the idealism of the preceding generation for a pragmatism that is more rooted in work ethic and practical solutions.

In a piece for Forbes, Jeff Frohm expands on a couple of other points raised by Huff — that to reach the Pivotal Generation, one must understand that reality, and even more importantly, uniqueness matters, and that one size does not fit all when it comes to social media.

While image is still important to Generation Z – they are, remember, teenagers – they have grown up in an era that stresses body positivity and rejects traditional ideas of beauty and perfection. What they really want, Fromm asserts, is to be unique. They want products to show them, in real terms, how they can help them create their own image – reveling in its flaws, accentuating its virtues.

Even more than millennials, they have grown up connected to one another through social media, and in so doing, they have developed their own preferences and etiquette for its use. Snapchat has usurped Facebook and other platforms as the preferred model for sharing their life experiences, while Facebook — better known as: My Parents’ Social Media – is used for informational purposes and Instagram for creating and building a preferred image of themselves.

So while a Facebook ad may reach their eyes, don’t expect to engage with them there. They’ll be adding funny filters to their photos on Snapchat while you’re still figuring out how to use it.

If you want to reach today’s teenagers, know where they live and how they use their platforms. Know what makes them tick and what motivates them. And know that in many cases, those things are very different from millennials.

Categories: iGen