Generations by COVID: Gen Z – digital warriors enter the storm

Author: Ashley Smith, Research and Strategy Director

Gen Z out-punches their size in terms of influence. As digital natives, they curate volumes of information, creating and interpreting trends that influence all generations, therefore playing a critical role in shaping behaviour and consumption for all.

How have they changed as a result of COVID-19?

Gen Zers are facing their first major crisis, a context that we believe will shape this generation for a long time – they are confronted by a volatile and less certain world. Mental health is of growing concern and they more clearly recognise the need for money management and financial planning. Gen Z now expects more to see brands giving back to the community.

What is their dominant motivational need right now? What do they want to feel more of?

Their key motivational need is to feel more empowered – they want to feel brave and well prepared.

Something else they need that sets them apart?

They want to avoid feeling insecure, anxious and worried and seek more peace of mind, a sense of calm.

Top Priorities for Employers?

Support inclusivity, diversity of views and recognise the real issue of mental health through appropriate programs and tools.

Right now for Gen Z, job security is more important than high income and rapid promotion.

Top Priorities for Brand Owners?

Help them feel brave and prepared for the turbulent world they are in or soon to be facing.

Provide Empowerment tools to help them gain control of their financial future as young adults. They will favour more flexible commitments and subscriptions over fixed arrangements.

Be honest, fair and show how you are contributing to the greater good.

Top Priorities for CX Strategy?

These are the true Digital Natives – no compromise on speed and efficiency, they also expect meaningful personalisation.

What Gen Z demands may soon become the norm for other generations.

About Motivational Needs and Mindsight®

These core human motivational needs help to explain our behaviour – why a person choses your brand over another brand, engages with a new product or doesn’t, recalls and engages with communication etc. 

We can’t detect these motivational needs by asking direct questions – they are non-conscious and difficult to articulate for everyday people. As a consequence, our research uses Implicit or ‘System 1’ techniques to uncover. 

MindSight® is the tool we use. It is a technology enabled neuroscience tool. Combined with Sprouts framework templates and expert behavioural scientists we deliver a significantly deeper understanding of humans and new insights to unlock new opportunities and growth.