Right now there’s more and more talk about generation Z in marketing circles. We are planning on doing a major study into the doings and screwings of generation Z later this year but before we do we thought we’d take stock of what we already know about this group from Brand Atlas data.

What follows is not a thesis about generation Z. Rather it is a mind dump of disassociated thoughts which give you a murky view of how generation Z’s are different from the rest of the population.

  • Because they are younger they are slimmer, happier with their looks and less likely to go to the doctor or dentist.
  • They are poorer and less likely to own property. They’re more likely to be flat dwellers living in rented premises (which they regard as being too small). They’re more likely to have savings accounts and far less likely to be making any kinds of investment.
  • They more likely to describe themselves as being honest, intelligent, confident, fun, sociable, spirited, modern, imaginative, charming, fashionable, liberal minded and sophisticated.
  • They’re less likely to smoke or to have ever smoked. They’re more likely to run and go to the gym to stay fit, and they’re more interested in sport. They’re more likely to say that they are stressed but at the same time they’re also more likely to say that they happy – so they feel happy about their stress!
  • They feel more in control of their destiny than the rest of us do, and they feel more spiritual.
  • They love eating out, buying fast food and are also more likely to drink vodka and cider (not mixed) than the rest of us. They are more likely to buy their booze at Tops.
  • They’re more interested in fashion and skew towards shopping for clothing at Edgars and at Mr Price but also shop at Truworths, Markham, Jet and Cotton On.
  • They’re more likely to want to end up running their own businesses and they plan on retiring sooner than the rest of us.
  • When it comes to mobile devices although they still mainly own Samsungs and iPhones they skew significantly towards owning a Huawei device. They’re far more likely to have a prepaid mobile and can be tempted to switch service providers for cheaper data.
  • They skew strongly towards accessing the Internet via their mobiles. They are far less likely to do transactions online (probably because they are less likely to own a credit card). Generally, they don’t by tangible items online, but they do buy airtime and data online.
  • As you would expect they are big on social media – all the usual suspects – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but have significant skews on Instagram and Google+.
  • When it comes to chat apps, nearly all of them use whatsapp and they skew towards being Snapchat users too.
  • They are far more likely than the rest of us to use uber – presumably because they’re far less likely to own their own motor vehicles.
  • Very few of them read printed magazines or in fact magazine content online. Magazines are not on generation Z’s radars and of the few who do read magazines the majority claim to be reading them less often now than they were a year ago.
  • The same is true for newspapers – they don’t read them nor do they read newspaper content online.
  • They skew strongly towards sourcing information about the topics that interest them on the Internet – no surprises there.
  • Very few listen to the radio and those who do claim to be listening less often now than they used to in the past.
  • It’s the same with TV. Very few watch it regularly – this probably has more to do with the fact that they cannot afford a DStv subscription coupled with their busy social lifestyles than it has to do with a dislike of television. They’re more likely to stream video on demand in order to watch the things that they want to watch when they want to watch them.
  • Finally they’re far more likely than the rest of us to go to the cinema.

These insights are a tiny taste of the types of insight that are available in our large sample brand Atlas database. Brand Atlas is a tool for marketers designed to facilitate a detailed description of defined customer segments across multiple markets.