Gen Z are coming of age in a complex and tumultuous time; a time when society, and the world at large moves from crisis to crisis. In this challenging reality it should come as no surprise that Gen Z is a generation of sensibility, are globally unified and trust differently than any other generation before them. Like any up-and-coming generation however, there is a tendency by marketers to be dismissive of their importance as consumers and as global citizens alike. But make no mistake, this cohort is an increasingly important target for marketers as they possess a significant amount of purchasing power and are set to shape the future of consumer behaviour. But don’t assume you know who they are.

Here are five myths vs. reality that may inform you on how best to engage, connect and influence this diverse generation.

Myth #1: Gen Z all want to be influencers.

Reality: They have influence, but only 12% aspire to be an influencer. Growing up in a rapidly changing world, Gen Z is driven by a desire to create meaningful connections and build a sense of community. This transcends to how they connect with like-minded individuals online, and how they support local businesses and organizations IRL.  

Myth #2: Gen Z doesn’t care about world issues.

Reality: Unity is Gen Z’s superpower. They prioritize coming together to create change for a common good, with 70% of all Gen Zers globally involved in a social or political cause. To win with Gen Z, consider how you are acting and aligning yourself to other relevant brands, businesses, or NGOs for common good.

Myth #3: Gen Z mobilizes cancel culture.

Reality: It’s about accountability with 1 in 3 wanting brands to take responsibility for wrongdoing. Transparency is everything to Gen Z. If you earn their trust, they will reward you – over 50% state they will purchase your brand, product or service.  

Myth #4: Gen Z are not financially savvy.

Reality: They are financially wise beyond their years with 54% holding some kind of investment and 31% feeling confident that they can explain how the stock market works. With this knowledge comes power, which influences both personal and employment choices.

Myth #5: Gen Z doesn’t want brands in their social circles.

Reality: 50% say that when a brand socially connects, Gen Zs emotionally connect. They support brands that focus on making the world a better place rather than making me a better person. They are also open to working with brands to tackle societal issues.

How do you make sure you are engaging Gen Z effectively?

Check out Edelman’s Gen Z Lab, a global and Canadian offering that comprises of more than 200 Gen Z employees around the world who serve as internal and external on-call advisors. The lab is complete with a data hub dedicated to generational insights across 14 countries, including Canada. The lab harnesses their generation’s perspective and ambitions to solve issues such as race and diversity, sustainability, and climate change, and align with brand interests to become catalysts for change.

If you are interested in learning more about insights related to Gen Z or our Gen Z Lab, reach out to Caroline Dunnet or Jennifer Meehan. We would love to connect.