Predictions for Gen Z in 2021 – What The Experts Say

  • TechRound has collected predictions for Generation Z (Gen Z) in 2021 from industry experts.
  • Who are Gen Z? They are the first digitally native generation.
  • Gen Z are going to continue to make their voices heard in 2021 according to experts.

 

As people get older and technology develops, everyone picks up different lessons, consumption behaviour and new trends occur. Gen Z, in particular, are making their mark in today’s economy. Taking over Millenials, Gen Z are our newest stars to watch.

Growing up immersed in technology, this generation in particular are tech-savvy and extremely connected and informed. This is mainly because of their internet usage, making them develop distinct attitudes, lifestyles and values. They are highly aware about everything around them!

What should you know about Gen Z, people born between 1996 and 2010? We have everything you need to know about how Gen Z are shaping different brands futures and way to help you get to know this particular generation, understanding their consumption behaviour. Here we speak to 5 different industry experts to help find out everything about Gen Z…

 

Our Panel of Experts:

  • Wietse Van Ransbeeck – Co-Founder and CEO of CitizenLab
  • Fabien Rossini – CEO of Crey
  • Jamie Parker – Founder of Red Rag Marketing
  • Jacqueline Baxter – Director of Jobspot Recruitment Limited
  • Colin Munro – Managing Director of Miconex

 

 

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Wietse Van Ransbeeck – Co-Founder and CEO of CitizenLab

 

Wietse Van Ransbeeck

 

“Following a year of tumultuous uncertainty, conversations need to be had about how the jaded political sphere can evolve for the better, engaging properly with the decision makers of tomorrow. Young people are often overlooked, yet it’s the politically disenfranchised youth who will be the champions of a positive, hope-fuelled movement, made stronger by the challenges they’ve overcome.

2021 is likely to see a quiet revolution of newly-engaged Gen Z voices making their presence known to the establishment. Not through riots or protests, but through an acknowledgment of their collective power made possible when given the opportunity to be heard, especially through Civic Tech designed for this purpose. For a generation that is used to digital tools and so many rich and diverse communication channels, a political model based on physical voting every few years just isn’t enough anymore.

The unwavering desire to make things more positive than before has never been so apparent; A consequence of a year defined by disease and unrest. The next 12 months will be pivotal in the political direction for countries across the globe, and we expect more young people than ever to begin to shape this upward trajectory, as they take it upon themselves to both plant and nurture the green shoots of change.”

 

Fabien Rossini – CEO of Crey

 

Fabien Rossini

 

“What’s unique about Gen Z is the fact they are the first true digitally native generation. They live and breathe this digital world we inhabit, and a growing trend has seen Gen Z slowly shunning traditional social media platforms. In the US, for example, the number of teenagers on Facebook has dropped by almost a quarter in the past few years. Instead, gaming has increasingly – and unsurprisingly – become the Gen Z social hangout of choice.

Gaming is huge: there are over 2 billion gamers worldwide enabling an industry worth US$160 billion in 2020 (Newzoo: December 2020). 43 million games were sold in 2020 in the UK alone (GSD: January 2021). Gaming is not only mainstream and now bigger than the global film industry, but also at the epicentre of social interaction for Gen Z. Today, young people define themselves by the gaming community they belong to, the same way previous generations (like mine) did through music, films or the football team they support.

What we’re going to see this year, is more recognition of this because, at the moment, the gaming platforms being used by Gen Z as social hangouts are by default, not by design. At CREY, our goal is to solve that problem by designing a gaming platform with social at its heart and catering for that social need and self-expression for Gen Z users to have their own space to play games, create games or just hangout.

When I was growing up the social hangout was the bedroom. That was a space to express yourself by the music you played, the posters you had on your walls and the friends you chose to invite there to hang out with. It was your space and your rules. You would hatch a plan and go off on an adventure together with friends.

We want to recreate that experience and magic in an online game creation platform designed specifically with Gen Z users in mind. Users will be able to create their own online social hangout, to own it, to work with friends and create a game or game items and then share those items to a wider community. To be limited only by their imagination and go on incredible adventures together or simply plan them in a space they feel is their own whilst online chatting to their friends and meeting new ones.”

 

 

 

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Jamie Parker – Founder of Red Rag Marketing

 

Jamie Parker

 

“While Gen Z are certainly turning to TikTok to share their COVID lockdown experiences, it’s definitely a step too far to suggest Facebook is losing ground – or losing touch – with this generation of young consumers. Particularly since Facebook took over the Instagram platform, which means it has never been easier for brands to deliver content – and advertising campaigns – to Gen Z at no additional cost.

As digital natives stuck at home in lockdown it’s no surprise they have flocked to their favourite platforms for entertainment, support, information and purchases during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As 70 per cent of all online traffic is in systems or services owned by Facebook or Google, businesses and brands large and small have had to up their game in the online space to meet these young consumers where they like to hang out.

Because the digital space is second nature to them, they are keen to engage with brands they can be proud to share with friends and family. They respond to brands which seek to win their trust, not baffle them with features.

With around six seconds to grab their attention, digital advertising campaigns in 2021 seeking to sell to Gen Z will have to become more sophisticated than ever. Experiential marketing was made for this generation, and during lockdown they have prized products which keep them fit, made their home a better place to be, and nurtured new hobbies and crafts.

Promotional activity is out, and conscious consumerism is in. Gen Z will place brand values under the spotlight more than ever in 2021, and those companies leveraging consumer concerns and sustainability before price are most likely to thrive.”

 

Jacqueline Baxter – Director of Jobspot Recruitment Limited

 

Jacqueline Baxter

 

“From a career perspective Generation Z are very switched on in every sense of the word. They don’t know life without a device and are incredibly digitally aware.

As a recruiter this means Gen Z won’t come knocking on your office door to make an application or to drop their CV in, the whole process has to be able to be done online within their digital space.

As a business, that means they are adept at researching everything about you within the digital space. Your website, reviews by employees of your company in places like Trustpilot, and your social media channels will all be under scrutiny.

With that in mind, as this generation are so skilled at social media and the digital marketing space, not surprisingly Gen Z are looking for career roles which use these skills. They want to generate, manage, and analyse social media for companies, to gather the data and use it to come up with new strategies.

Not surprisingly a dream job role for many Gen Z is to become influencers on social media, with all the perks and publicity success in that role could bring. Not surprisingly then, that many Gen Z look to Instagram for potential job vacancies, and it is likely that TikTok will increasingly become a place where companies will need to recruit for new talent.

In some ways what appeals to Gen Z when it comes to their career isn’t so different to previous generations in that salary is important, because they still value being able to get on the property ladder and the independence that brings.

What makes them different perhaps is instead of the usual employer perks of a good pension, Gen Z are looking for flexibility and freedom in how they work. Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm in an office is unlikely to appeal, and if they are in an office, their working environment matters.

There’s a reason why Google’s office looks as it does, full of colour and slides instead of stairs, and if businesses want to attractive the best young minds then they will have to stand out from the crowd.”

 

Colin Munro – Managing Director of Miconex

 

Colin Munro

 

Against a continuing backdrop of economic uncertainty, Generation Z will continue to make their presence felt through their purchasing preferences, with a particular impact on local economies. The Gift Card and Voucher Association’s December commentary found that 38.4% of Generation Z gift card purchases were motivated by the desire to support local businesses.

This was backed up by our 2020 sales data for our 59 local Town and City Gift Card programmes around the UK, with 12.89% of all transactions from Generation Z during the key Christmas trading period. The fight for survival for small businesses in 2021 remains very real, a fact that Generation Z are entirely cognisant of. They are ready to do their bit to shop local, support local and ensure communities emerge intact from the pandemic.

 

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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