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America’s Gen Z represents $44+ bn in annual purchasing power: JWT

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MUMBAI: J. Walter Thompson Intelligence’s newly launched innovation and futurism unit The Innovation Group has unveiled a new report on Generation Z (those born in the mid-1990s and early 2000s). The report, which features original quantitative studies and consumer data, examines this emerging generation’s key behaviors and attitudes, as well as the brands and influencers engaging them.

Eclipsing the Millennials, who have dominated the news and pop culture agenda in recent years, this new, younger generation identifies as a distinctly different group in both behavior and mindset. In the UK and US, Gen Z comprises a quarter of the population, and in the US alone the group represents over $44 billion in annual purchasing power.

More inspired by Malala than Beyoncé, Gen Zers are characterized by ethical consumption habits, native digital technology use, entrepreneurial ambition and progressive views on topics ranging from education to gender, according to the report.

“We’re excited to showcase this rich study of a dynamic new generation. Generation Zers are a complex mixture of sophistication and wide-eyed optimism. They are intelligent, confident and — importantly for brands — they question the prescribed norms of everything from formal education to gender politics. For brands to reach this group, they will need to understand what makes them tick and come to grips with these nuances,” said Innovation Group worldwide director Lucie Greene.

The report features analysis and brand examples across sectors including beauty, retail, media, technology, education and more.

Generation Z by the numbers:

• 82 per cent of Gen Zers say they don’t care about sexual orientation

• 86 per cent use the their smartphones multiple times a day

• 70 per cent watch more than two hours of YouTube content each day

• 88 per cent say people are exploring their sexuality more than in the past

• 67 per cent would rather shop in stores than online

• 83 per cent say saving for the future is important

For this report, the Innovation Group conducted quantitative studies using SONAR, J. Walter Thompson’s proprietary research unit that develops and exploits new research techniques to understand cultures, brands and consumer motivation.

A total of 1,000 individuals aged 12-19 were surveyed in the US and the UK in February 2015. Insights are also underpinned by original interviews and photography documenting the lives and preferences of Gen Z case studies in London, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. 

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