Generation Z - how to leverage ecosystem potential for the post-millenials
We’ll take a deep dive into how Generation Z is reshaping the world of business and how companies can use this to their advantage.
There's no doubt about it: Generation Z is different.
But what makes them so different, and why Generation Z is important to consider from an ecosystem perspective?
Who is Generation Z?
Generation Z, also known as post-millennials, are typically defined as people born between 1997 and 2012. Generation Z has emerged as a population group that deserves increasing attention, especially now that its older members are entering young adulthood. The spending power of Gen Z is estimated at 323 Mrd. US$ annually.
Although they share a number of characteristics with millennials, their formative years were shaped by a drastically different world, resulting in significant differences in attitudes, trends, and perspectives.
It is often difficult for companies to adapt to new generations and understand their values and needs. For this reason, we ran a secondary research on Generation Z and explored each life area and their relationships on the Ecosystem Strategy Map.
What will you take away from this blog article?
- You will have a better understanding of Generation Z
- You will understand values and needs of the Generation Z illustrated on the Ecosystem Strategy Map
- You will learn a few ways you can use business ecosystems to connect with Gen Z
Using the Ecosystem Strategy Map, let's analyze the needs and offerings of Generation Z in various Life Areas:
Generation Z values convenience, connectivity, sustainability, safety, personalization, and social interaction in their transportation options. They prefer using ride-sharing services, bike-sharing programs, and other forms of transportation that can be easily accessed through a mobile app, offer in-car Wi-Fi and charging ports, are more sustainable and eco-friendly, have advanced safety features, allow for personalization, and provide opportunities for social interaction.
Generation Z is focused on health and wellness. They are interested in tracking their fitness and health data, and using technology to improve their physical and mental well-being. They also tend to be more environmentally conscious, and are looking for products that align with their sustainable lifestyle.
Generation Z values entertainment and leisure time. They are highly engaged with social media, streaming services and gaming platforms, and are looking for a wide variety of content options to consume in their free time. They also tend to have a strong interest in travel and adventure.
Generation Z is ambitious and career-focused. They are looking for products and services that can help them to be more productive and efficient at work, such as laptops, software and digital solutions (such as AI) that can help them with their studies or work. They also value flexibility in their work environment, such as the ability to work remotely using collaboration platforms to interact with colleagues and partners.
Generation Z is highly conscious about the products they buy and the impact of their consumption on the environment. They tend to be more interested in buying products that are sustainable, ethically made, and align with their values. They are also highly engaged with online shopping, and tend to research products thoroughly before making a purchase. Generation Z is highly connected and mobile, they tend to use multiple devices to access the internet and communicate with friends and family. They have a high demand for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that are not only functional but also stylish.
Generation Z values self-care, mindfulness and spirituality. They tend to be interested in meditation, yoga and other forms of self-improvement practices. They also tend to be more open-minded for different spiritual beliefs and practices.
Generation Z values connection and community. They are highly engaged with social media and messaging apps, and tend to use these platforms to communicate with friends and family. They also tend to be more interested in attending events and activities that align with their individual interests and values. Gen Z is highly diverse and values representation and inclusion in their social interactions. They are interested in connecting with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives, and they appreciate social interactions that are inclusive and respectful of diversity. They value emotional intelligence and empathy in their interactions and appreciate conversations and relationships that are meaningful and emotionally supportive, while also more likely to seek out individuals and communities that share these values.
Generation Z values authenticity, and they are less likely to tolerate inauthentic or fake behavior online or in-person. They appreciate genuine and real connections, and they are more likely to engage with people and communities that are transparent and honest.
Generation Z is highly educated and ambitious. They tend to value further education and are looking for products and services that can help them learn and grow. They are also highly engaged with online learning tools and platforms, such as MOOCs, and tend to be more self-directed in their learning. Likewise, they value a personalized approach to education that takes into account their individual strengths, interests, and learning styles. Furthermore, they are more likely to seek out individualized support and resources to help them reach their goals. Gen Z approaches education in a more practical and hands-on manner compared to previous generations.
Generation Z is highly engaged with streaming services, gaming and other forms of digital entertainment. They tend to be looking for a wide variety of content options, and are also interested in interactive and immersive entertainment experiences.
Generation Z values technology that can make their daily lives more convenient and efficient. They tend to be interested in smart home devices, and other forms of technology that can automate daily tasks. They also tend to be more environmentally conscious, and are looking for products that align with their sustainable lifestyle.
All in all, Generation Z is open for interconnected offerings which are consumed as one integrated experience. They highly look for convenience and variety across all life areas, and value sustainability for all products and services they use.
Business ecosystems can be a powerful way to gain the attention of Gen Z customers.
Here are a few ways you can use business ecosystems to connect with Gen Z:
- Partner with other companies and organizations to create mutually beneficial collaborations. Create distinct lock-in effects to bind Gen Z customers through holistic life area perspective instead of traditional product and industry mindset.
- Leverage the power of social media influencers and brand ambassadors to connect with Gen Z. By working with influencers who already have a strong following among Gen Z, you can tap into their existing audience and gain credibility among potential customers.
- Create a community around your brand. Gen Z values connection and community. By fostering a sense of community around your brand, you can create a loyal following among Gen Z customers.
- Connect with Gen Z on the issues they care about. Gen Z is highly aware of social and environmental issues, and they expect companies to take a stand on these topics. By aligning your brand with causes that Gen Z cares about, you can connect with them on a deeper level.
- Make it easy for Gen Z to discover and interact with your brand. This generation is highly tech-savvy, so make sure your app, website and social media channels are mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. Use interactive elements such as polls, quizzes, and user-generated content to engage with Gen Z. Since they are very open for exchanging personal information if getting a benefit, set up a data-driven innovation flywheel to continuously create new offerings for their needs.
The Ecosystem Strategy Map can also be used to map needs and offerings of a specific target group, like the Gen Z. Companies can use (or adapt) it for their relevant customer segments in order to identify growth opportunities and collaboration potential with partners. As a next step, you have to develop a portfolio of potential ecosystem business models based on the results of these analyses.
Please read our other blog posts or sign up for our newsletter to learn more and stay updated. You can also use our tools to help your business here for free. Finally, if you are interested in ecosystem education, learn more about our educational offerings.
If you want to learn more about the topic of business ecosystems, our book "Ecosystemize Your Business" is just the perfect thing.