June 13, 2019

“Through Their Eyes” Digital Ethnography Series: Gen Z Wrap-Up

The Strategy team at AMP is on a mission to better understand marketers’ most sought-after consumer segments. Each week, individuals from these segments take over @AMP_Agency  Instagram stories to give us a peek into their world as part of our digital ethnography series, “Through Their Eyes.”

 

In May we focused on Gen Z college students and saw the world from the perspective of Courtney from Oregon State University, Cortes from California Polytechnic State University, Alexa from UMass Amherst, and Haidar from the University of Rhode Island.

 

Move over, millennials. Marketers’ latest obsession is with Gen Z, the cohort born between 1995 and the early 2010s. You might already know that they’re pragmatic and frugal, multicultural and accepting, and native to the digital world. But we uncovered a few more insights as we followed four college students preparing for finals and the summer ahead...

 

Everyday, they’re hustling

Everyday Gen Z is hustling, and we mean that quite literally – a decorative sign with that very motto was spotted in the background of one of Alexa’s posts, next to a Post-It reminder that said, "Harvard Business or Bust.” Follow any one of these individuals around for the day and be prepared to be exhausted. Both Courtney and Cortes found time for workouts between multiple classes, work shifts, and study sessions, while Alexa is on the board of five different clubs and Haidar’s roster of classes as a Global Business Major and Arabic Studies and Engineering double minor is enough to make your head spin. Our team wasn’t surprised to see this given what we’ve read about the generation as a hard working and focused bunch – only 38% think work-life balance  is important, compared to 47% of millennials, and 58% say ‘bring it’ to working nights and weekends in exchange for a better salary.

 

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No (iced) coffee, no workee

While all that hustle is self-driven, it’s apparently also fueled by caffeine – specifically in the form of iced coffee. We couldn’t help but notice that three of our four participants made a point of creating a post specifically in admiration of their respective iced coffees, ‘gramming it beautifully against a flowering bush, decorating their coffee selfies with a “good day today” gif, and even adding Will Smith’s “Just the Two of Us” as background music for the post (below). It all made sense, when our research showed that 56% of Gen Z has purchased iced coffee in the past month.

 

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They find fun in responsibility

We were impressed by Gen Z’s ability to create joy, even during times when duty called. Courtney took her studying outside to a scenic patio. Cortes savored a sparkling coconut water in the sunshine. Alexa got a little sassy with her Stats study guide. And even Haidar, who was busy observing Ramadan during his feature, took a selfie with a friend as they stood in the aisles of a convenience store shoveling down cups of cereal in the early morning hours for Suhur. Despite their exhausting schedules, on-the-go nature, and mountain of responsibilities, Gen Z is clearly able to appreciate and enjoy each moment. In the future, they’ll be looking for workplaces that encourage this outlook as well – 65% of Gen Z look for a “fun” working environment  when assessing whether a company culture is a good fit for them.  

 

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January 18, 2017

Survey Finds US Teens Upped Daily Facebook Usage in 2016

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The November 2016 survey by UBS Evidence Lab found that 65% of teens said they used Facebook daily, up from 59% in November 2014. And despite concerns that teens are abandoning Facebook for other social networks, daily usage among teens remains higher for Facebook than for any other social network, including Snapchat and Instagram.

Facebook’s utility continues to drive usage.

November 16, 2016

The Evolving Holiday Wish List: How High-End Brands Have Crept to the Top

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Studies have shown that, in the past, teenagers learned their purchasing skills when shopping with their parents. But this model has changed with the times. According to the Wall Street Journal, we have formally crossed the threshold — and consumers are shopping more online than at brick-and-mortar stores. So, as the retail space continues to fragment with the continued growth of online shopping, social commerce and in-app purchasing, how are millennials shaping their shopping behaviors?   

Luxury starts young.

November 11, 2016

5 Ways Brands Can Build Loyalty With Young Consumers

20161103151705-GettyImages-513602209.jpegBuilding brand loyalty among consumers is complicated at best. But companies who hope to cultivate a strong following among the youngest generations, including Millennials and Generation Z, have some serious wooing to do. These consumers have grown up in a very different environment than previous generations, and have a distinct way of viewing the world. This worldview in turn shapes their consumer habits and lifestyle choices.

Be real, but not too real.

October 27, 2016

The End of Adolescence

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In the 20th century, the concept of adolescence offered a bridge from the innocence of childhood to the responsibilities of adult life. Now, the bridge is sagging at both ends as the innocence of childhood has become more difficult to protect, and adulthood is long delayed. While adolescence once helped frame many matters regarding the teen years, it is no longer an adequate way to understand what is happening to the youth population. And it no longer offers a roadmap for how they can be expected to mature.

Not anymore.

September 23, 2016

The Future of Smart Toys and the Battle For Digital Children

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Annual smart-toy sales worldwide are expected to grow from about $2.8bn in 2015 to $11.3bn by 2020. Digital toys and internet-connected devices for children, such as Smarty, are a rapidly growing part of that, along with intelligent building blocks, smart racing cars and drones, robots that teach kids how to code, and even a smart rubber duck aimed at the very young. Pure play with a side effect of learning is key to creating balanced people in life.

Step away from the screen, children.

September 16, 2016

Secret Life of a Seven-Year-Old Instagram Star

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For years, people on the street have crooned over Haileigh, dressed in classic Diane Von Furstenberg-style wrap dresses and fitted. She accessorizes with oversized shades and cross-body purses, making her look like an adult in a child’s body. So Ms. Vasquez began posting pictures of her then three-year-old to Instagram. Four years later, Haileigh has 129,000 followers. The social media posts have turned her into a child model, an aspiring actress and an Instagram star.

Shine like a star, dream like a child.

July 21, 2016

Do Students Lose Depth in Digital Reading?

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Do students learn as much when they read digitally as they do in print? For both parents and teachers, knowing whether computer-based media are improving or compromising education is a question of concern. With the surge in popularity of e-books, online learning and open educational resources, investigators have been trying to determine whether students do as well when reading an assigned text on a digital screen as on paper.

Far more than a yes or no.

July 21, 2016

What Life Was Like Before the Internet

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What did they do at night without a TV to watch? How did they get around the city in which they lived? What kinds of clothes did they wear? What kind of food did they eat? Basically, how did they live? Here’s what it was like to grow up on the tail end of Generation X. 

What is childhood without a computer?

July 18, 2016

How Generation Z Females Could Be the Answer to Tech’s Gender Diversity Problem

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While the biggest names in tech strive to close the gender gap and build more inclusive working environments, the pool of talent on offer is predominantly male. The truth is, while retention is an issue, there are simply fewer women opting for a career in tech. But new initiatives and an uptick of Gen Z girls opting for sciences in top-tier universities paints a very different future. What are these young women doing that previous generations have not? And what does this all mean for Silicon Valley’s boys’ club?

Cheer on the women.

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