Gen Z Decoded, an all-new study packed with first-hand insights about Generation Z, curated over the course of the past year, is out from global media agency Assembly. Unlike previous studies that seek to understand this evolving and influential group as one whole audience, Assembly prompts brands and marketers to consider this: Gen Z is a series of journeys, each individual and nuanced, dependent on the experiences of Zs in their particular stage of life.
The study taps into learnings from Assembly client campaigns [Supercuts, Diesel, and Converse], first-party research powered by Appinio across six markets (UK, US, France, Germany, China, Korea), and additional expert insights curated from Assembly’s Europe Strategy & Insights team. It additionally includes 8 essential principles for brands to build meaningful relationships with Gen Z, as well as a foundational growth plan following the agency’s “Find, Change, Grow” methodology.
“As they look to discover themselves, Gen Z is going on an internal journey, often staying fluid and flexible with their own identity,” said Jennifer Brown, Strategy Manager, Europe at Assembly. “They’re in an ever-changing state of discovery across different life stages, so a one-size-fits-all approach from brands isn’t going to work.”
The study identifies one of Gen Z’s 6 primary characteristics as “shapeshifters”, with 78% of Gen Z believing that people should be able to define their own identity instead of being labelled by society. The fluidity in their identities also extends to their relationships with brands, with 55% of Gen Z stating that they aren’t loyal to any brands.
Other key characteristics that distinguish Gen Z:
- Globally Connected: Gen Z have experienced connectivity unlike any other generation before them. 77% of Gen Z say they have never met an online friend in person, further emphasizing the emergence of digital-only relationships
- Passionate Disruptors: While they aren’t the first generation with grand ambitions to change the world, Gen Z is the generation that has been armed with the Internet to help them do so. 70% of Gen Z believe they can take part in a social movement through social media
- Entrepreneurs: By 2025, Gen Z will make up 27% of the workforce, though they’re not necessarily only interested in conventional career paths. 42% of Gen Z say they have a “side hustle” and express wanting to disrupt the way jobs work in the future, many envisioning themselves to be their own bosses
- Purposeful: While living much of their lives on the internet, Gen Z are also intentional about how and where they are spending their time online, and with who. 27% of Gen Z spend less time on platforms with ads, and 55% of Gen Z in the 18-25 age group are experiencing social media fatigue
- Vulnerable: Despite their confidence and tenacity, Gen Z put enormous pressure on themselves to carry through on their values; and also despite being so digitally connected, 79% of Gen Z express feeling lonely.
“Our advice to brands is: go on the journey with Gen Z and don’t stop learning. It’s all about continuous testing, learning, and adapting, because Gen Z will continue to evolve, so brands should do the same,” said Kristie Naha-Biswas, Head of Strategy & Planning, Europe at Assembly.
Access Assembly's Gen Z Decoded here.
Assembly is the modern global omnichannel media agency, bringing data, talent, and technology together to find the change that fuels growth for the best brands on the planet. Our approach connects big, bold brand stories with integrated, global media capabilities that deliver performance and drive large-scale business growth. Our work is powered by our proprietary, in-house technology solution, STAGE, and led by our global talent base of over 1,600 people around the world. We’re purpose-driven at our core and pioneers in social and environmental impact in the agency world.
Assembly is a proud member of Stagwell, the challenger network built to transform marketing.
ABOUT THE REPORT:
Gen Z Decoded for Brand Growth is the culmination of research and real-life experience, looking at the evolution of Gen Z behavior over the past year. This large-scale report is part of a series of thought leadership, roundtables, and research insights about Gen Z, coming exclusively from global media agency, Assembly.
Assembly Custom Research Powered by Appinio:
Appinio is a global market research platform that enables companies worldwide to get thousands of opinions from specific target groups in just a few minutes. Assembly surveyed a Gen Z audience size of 1,500 across the UK, US, France, Germany, China, and Korea.
Sara Pollack, VP of Marketing
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