Generation Z.

I’ll eat my hat if you’ve not been talking about Gen Zs and how to find, attract and convert them around your boardroom table. We all know them. But do we REALLY know them?

We think not.

In fact, we think Gen Zs are the most misunderstood generation that brands are trying to target today. Full of misconception, driven by a burning need to attract and capture this lucrative audience (did you know, by 2030, Gen Z income with reach $30 trillion according to Forbes).

BUT, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Deloitte’s recent Gen Z global Mood Monitor found that when asked how optimistic they were about the economy, social & political issues, personal finances, the environment and the impact businesses have on society, the mood is at an all-time low (for the second year running) scoring just 36 out of 100.

Gen Zs are a complex generation of opportunity and challenges, so we’ve compiled some fast facts to challenge some of the misconceptions of this audience and start steering your thinking.

46% of Gen Zs say they are living pay check to pay check.

  1. Making ends meet

    There’s so much talk about how much wealth Gen Zs are set to earn, but 29% of Gen Zs named cost of living rises as their main concern as we head into the second half of 2022. A whopping 43% of Gen Zs now have part time jobs in addition to their full-time employment and according to Deloitte, 46% of Gen Zs say they are living pay check to pay check and worry they won’t be able to cover their expenses. It’s more important than ever for brands to add value.

  2. Environmental Consciousness

    Despite being potentially cash strapped, making sustainable choices has never been more important to Gen Zs. 64% said that they would pay more to purchase environmentally conscious products versus only 36% who would rather a cheaper product that’s not as sustainable. This generation are purpose-driven consumers – they shop based on how well a brand’s values align with their own.

  3. Voting with their feet

    Gen Zs are a generation who stand up for what they believe in. And better work/life balance is one of them. In a recent Forbes study, 40% are planning to leave their jobs in the next two years. 35% said they’d leave even without a job to go to! Work/life balance, learning and development and a high salary were the top 3 reasons why they’d look to change. It’s not all about money.

  4. Live to influence

    One of the most common perceptions is that the Gen Z audience is that they’re all desperate to be influencers. A recent Edelman study found that only 12% are interested in being influencers. In fact, only 60% said that posting on social media was a form of activism.

  5. The TikTok generation?

    We’ve all heard the Gen Zs be referred to as the TikTok generation. Brands are desperately trying to figure out ways to get amongst the action and shoehorn dance moves into their ads for deodorant. To varying degrees of success it must be said. According to a StudentBeans study, 68% want brands to post funny content on TikTok. However, if you want to build trust with this famously untrusting audience, the place you should dedicate time and effort is in YouTube. It was voted the #1 most trusted platform for Gen Zers in a 2022 study by Edelman.

  6. A quest for truth

    We’ve just spoke about trust. Gen Zers are naturally suspicious, with 70% always fact checking what a brand says and unfollowing that brand if they find them to be not truthful.

    When asked by Edelman what they required from brands in order to trust them, safety, unity and humanity were the three most common answers.

    What’s also interesting is the shift in impact traditional social media influencers have these days. StudentBean found that a huge 74% of Gen Zers don’t trust influencers to be honest about brands.


In summary then, Gen Z really is the generation of sensibility. They expect more than ever from brands – not just to deliver convenience and an effort-free journey to purchase, but they expect brands to use their money, power and status to help them better themselves, to learn, grow and develop.

This generation are savvy, and passionate, and it’s why at Pulse, we’ve launched our Gen Z ThinkTank giving brands access to a tailored community of Gen Zers to understand, learn and test your business strategies and comms. Ban misconception and build strategies that’ll REALLY drive change.

Learn more about our Gen Z ThinkTank

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