Delon Wang
Delon is Trends Manager, Asia Pacific at Mintel. He oversees Trends content and Trends client servicing for the region.

As the first digitally-native generation, Generation Z (Gen Z) is characterised by modest differences between the previous generation—the Millennials. With Gen Z coming to maturity and entering the workforce, they are starting to claim financial independence and will be one of the greatest forces of change in the future. This week, at Mintel Big Conversation Korea (May 3, 2018), we took a deep dive into Gen Z, sharing insights into this new generation and how companies and brands can cater to them.

Meet Gen Z

In 2017, the South Korean youth population aged 9 to 24 occupied 18% of the total population, according to Statistics Korea. Growing up in the digital age, with smartphones and PCs readily available in most households, Gen Z is characterised by easy and instant access to information and communication.

Social networks, messaging applications, forums and various Wiki sources are just the tip of the iceberg. This is creating a true digital generation where speed is expected and multitasking is necessary. It is also safe to assume that Gen Z consumers all over the world are more likely to identify themselves as digital device addicts.

With a wealth of information at their fingertips, trust in corporations is not easily earned from Gen Z. The message strategies that worked with older demographic groups aren’t feasible when dealing with this segment of consumers.

Gen Z actually have what we’re calling highly evolved ‘eight-second filters’. They’ve grown up in a world where their options are limitless but their time is not. As such, Gen Z has adapted to quickly sorting through and assessing enormous amounts of information. Online they rely heavily on trending pages within apps to collect the most popular, recent content.

What We Think

Gen Z is represented by a want for speed, flexibility and efficiency, which offers them the ability to multitask in a fast paced environment, make decisions with a snap and appeal to values that they can rationalise. We see startups and brands appealing to this desire for flexibility in both work and social life and that informal or playful modes of communication are cutting through the clutter. When looking at how this generation values trust, brands that engage in ethical activities have a higher likelihood of gaining this trust.