Debunking Gen Z


By Sam Crompton, Director of Insights and Trends at Ziba


Over the last year, here at Ziba, we have actively engaged with ‘Generation Z’ to better understand how we can learn from them and incorporate their voices into our collective design expertise. From the onset it was clear to us that their thoughts, attitudes and skill sets are beyond our paradigm.


Especially now within the current political climate, both here and in the UK, they feel disenfranchised and marginalized.  And for good reason, I believe. They are going to be affected by decisions being made today for years to come without having been included in the conversation.


A distinction to Gen Z is they have seen that many of the structures and institutions are fallible. Think about what they’ve seen happen in the world since 1997.  Because of this, they believe that change is needed and they’ve got the proficiency and the resources to actually make change happen. They don’t want to just sit and receive. Instead, they want to create and take ownership of the outcome. For that reason, we’ve been calling them the Builder Generation.


Include Gen Z in the conversation. Involve them at the grassroots level. Provide them the resources to adopt your brand through their own engagement. A brilliant example of this approach is Target who recently revived their children’s line, Cat & Jack by listening to kids between the ages of 4-12.  To put it simply, design with, not for.


Gen Z is giving brands the permission to be bold, to challenge, and design against type. Incorporating their input into your research will yield a more dynamic and authentic design solution. If brands can do this in a considered, thoughtful and meaningful way, they will get noticed by this generation.


As you will read in the Gen Z Report Ziba has prepared, any brand or organization looking to stay relevant in the future is going to have to understand what makes this generation unique. 


Learn from them, because they’re going to build their future, with or without you.