Move Over Millennials: Gen Z Makes Their Preferences Known

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We’ve been talking about millennials—what makes them tick, what they like and don’t like, how they think and behave—for years now. But the latest Cassandra Report from Deep Focus has heralded a new generation of consumers ready to make their mark: Enter Generation Z.

Gen Z, a population currently aged 7 to 17, holds more influence than you might expect. In fact, the report indicates that 93 percent of household spending decisions are influenced by them. If you find that surprising, you’re not alone.

According to Deep Focus’s chief marketing officer, Jamie Gutfreund, restaurant owners need to spend some time studying this fresh generation of consumers, what she calls, “the new foodies.” Gutfreund argues that,

“Brands who aren’t targeting them today do need to start paying attention. They’re going to be the future consumers, and they’re going to demand an entirely different paradigm and interaction with the brands they support. It’s time to learn lessons today rather than when it’s too late.”

 

So what exactly are those lessons? For one, this generation is more informed and picky about their food choices than any that has preceded them—no huge shock for the first generation of kids who don’t remember life pre-Internet.

 

They also expect to be communicated with in a more human, personalized way by brands. Gutfreund points out,

“Kids want to feel like insiders—like they’re part of the conversation, not just being talked at. Legacy and heritage is quite fascinating to them, but it should be expressed in a more modern or relevant way. Kids want brands that reflect the culture that they admire.”

This generation is also hyper-conscious of how they portray their own lives, searching for “Instagrammable” moments and opportunities to snag that perfect Snapchat video. Building a brand that has visual appeal is more important for reaching this demographic than it ever has been before. They look to interact with brands whose values and aesthetics say something positive about them as consumers.

Moreover, restaurant owners need to start marketing their goods and services as an experience, rather than just food. Kids in this age bracket expect that type of appeal.

And you thought marketing to millennials was hard!