top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoeri Van den Bergh

The post-Millennial cohort - What characterizes Gen Z in the US and their brand expectations

Coming of age amidst a backdrop of societal flux, environmental concerns, and a global health crisis, Gen Z grapples with mental wellness challenges while openly addressing them. The past couple of years, particularly marked by the pandemic, have significantly shaped their perspectives and aspirations. So, who exactly are these Zoomers in the United States, and what are their brand expectations?

Reimagining financial norms

Gen Z is rewriting the playbook on wealth creation. Seamlessly navigating TikTok and YouTube algorithms, this generation swiftly transforms their social presence into entrepreneurial endeavors. Surprisingly, 51% of US Gen Z expresses an interest in entrepreneurship. What's more, this cohort boasts an exceptional level of financial literacy from a young age. They actively seek financial guidance from social media influencers, with 62% implementing advice from these "fin-fluencers" into their financial strategies. While traditional investment avenues like stocks and educational funds dominate their portfolios, Gen Z sees promising potential in art, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs.

In the realm of brands, Gen Z craves accessible and practical financial guidance. Companies like Copper are capitalizing on this trend by providing tools like debit cards and banking apps tailored for teens. Copper not only assists in goal setting and budgeting but also enables parents to monitor their teens' spending habits in real-time.

Copper app

Embracing mental well-being

In the US, 55% of Gen Z reports feeling stressed, with mental health concerns (60%) and academic/work pressures (45%) being the primary stressors. While social media serves as a platform for connection and creativity, it also contributes to their mental health struggles. Issues such as comparison to others (34%) and societal expectations (16%) exacerbate stress levels. Unrealistic beauty standards propagated by filters and edited images further compound these challenges.

Gen Z's emphasis on mental well-being presents an opportunity for brands to step in as mentors, advocating for prioritizing mental health and fostering open dialogues. Initiatives like Victoria's Secret PINK's "Make Your Move" program and CVS Pharmacy's Beauty Unaltered campaign demonstrate a commitment to promoting holistic well-being and authenticity.

Elevating digital presence

Social media is an integral part of Gen Z's daily lives, with 34% admitting to feeling anxious when disconnected for even a day. While platforms like YouTube and TikTok cater to their entertainment and creative needs, they also serve as avenues for digital activism. From advocating for social justice causes like Black Lives Matter to championing LGBTQIA+ rights, Gen Z leverages social media to amplify their voices on global issues.

In addition to conventional social media platforms, Gen Z is pioneering the metaverse, exploring virtual realms like Fortnite and Roblox. Brands like OffLimits are capitalizing on this trend by launching innovative initiatives such as custom cereal-box NFTs, bridging the virtual and real worlds seamlessly.

Offlimits Cereal packaging

Advocating for social justice

Gen Z's concerns extend beyond individual well-being to encompass broader societal issues like racial inequality (48%) and LGBTQIA+ rights (18%). With diversity and inclusion at the forefront of issues to tackle, this generation expects brands to not only address societal issues but also educate consumers on supporting marginalized communities. Initiatives like Target's commitment to investing in black-owned brands exemplify a proactive approach towards addressing social injustices.

Black-owned brands on Target

As the largest consumer demographic with considerable purchasing power, Gen Z holds immense sway over market trends and brand loyalty. Ensuring alignment with their values and priorities is crucial for businesses looking to thrive in the evolving marketplace.

So, is your brand ready to address Gen Z's brand expectations?

Get your download of the full Ready for the Zoomers report now!

6 views0 comments



Let’s get in touch
to give your audience
a NextGen boost.

bottom of page