What does Generation ‘Z’ want? Here’s one answer

Imogen Merridew, 16, a photography A-Level student at Avonbourne Sixth Form in Bournemouth, on work experience with Deep South Media

Gen Z is changing the market. Is your business ready to meet expectations from the next generation of consumers? Imogen Merridew, 16, a photography A-Level student at Avonbourne Sixth Form in Bournemouth, on work experience with Deep South Media, explains.

The market today is a whirlwind of products, all their advertisements lost in one another, every company trying to outdo each other with the latest billboard or commercial.

Sometimes they go for humour, sometimes sympathy and some are more effective than others.

However the market is changing and Gen Z is fast becoming an assertive consumer group that you shouldn’t mess with.

Our generation is watching as the politicians and leaders do the bare minimum to save the planet and they think we’ll accept it, since we have very little say in the world of politics, being under 18, we seek to change consumer demands.

We saw America pull out of the Paris Agreement and increase their coal mining, under the guise of creating new jobs, despite the fact that solar energy makes up 43% of the electrical sector, more than all the fossil fuels combined 1.

We watched in abject horror at the Parkfield School shooting and everyone around the world was called to action by these angry, grieving teenagers, calling for people to boycott companies receiving funding from the NRA, like Amazon.

We did just that, and because of this many companies have cut ties with the NRA.

We are a powerful group of consumers because we’re not passive.

We demand companies appeal to what we want, rather than passively taking what is given. In recent times we’ve seen the most diverse set of movies in modern history with Wonder Woman, followed by Black Panther, and topped off with Love Simon.

Tommy Hilfiger has created an adaptable range for disabled adults and children2 and many fashion brands stopped using leather3.

So how can products improve? That’s a difficult question, but generally speaking we want to see society in advertising. That sounds ‘redundant’, but we are yet to see a true representation of society as a whole.

We want to see every part, every skin colour, every size, shape, ability. We want diversity in advertising. We also want transparency.

How is it that only now we find out about the lies in haircare products4?

We want products that show attainable results, not deceptions.  We want companies to be ethical and environmentally wary, cutting plastic where they can5.

I understand that some products aren’t retail, so can’t do this, but for the ones that can.

Gen Z is the changing tide.

Are you ready?



1 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-solar-power-employs-more-people-more-oil-coal-gas-combined-donald-trump-green-energy-fossil-fuels-a7541971.html

2 https://www.elle.com/fashion/shopping/a19674035/tommy-hilfiger-spring-2018-adaptive-collection/

3 https://www.peta.org.uk/blog/fur-dead-94-per-cent-london-fashion-week-designers-fur-free/

4 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5579321/Haircare-brand-exposes-misleading-tricks-used-beauty-ads.html

5 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/16/iceland-pledges-go-plastic-free/