If there’s one thing we know about Gen Z – they give a sh*t. We have seen a huge shift from Gen Y to Gen Z from the frivolous to having a purpose.
iD magazine recently ran The Activist Issue, in which they interviewed and photographed the members of this generation who are changing the landscape of tomorrow. Making activism central to the magazine highlights that Gen Z are focused on intelligent, strong and powerful new cultural icons that are the faces and minds of tomorrow, as opposed to just looking at the latest fashion trends. Indeed ID magazine consistently makes a point of providing a platform for a variety of voices, especially within youth culture, carefully curating their content to create a magazine which features meaningful content for the younger generation.
But championing a purpose doesn’t mean being painfully serious. Gen Z embrace a dynamic attitude towards achieving change, engaging and immersing themselves in the world and its issues to affect change. They are taking the lead from radical movements such as Pussy Riot and taking action for what they stand for – this is about getting out onto the streets and pushing people out of their comfort zones.
Importantly Gen Z respect brands that don’t shy away from owning a purpose. From Elle’s Sod the Stereotypes issue to Ben and Jerry’s Occupy support – Gen Z really respond to this and take note of brands’ purposeful messages, sharing on their social media pages to their peers. It is important for brands to tap into the current trends in culture whilst also maintaining a meaningful message. For example, Canadian homelessness charity Covenant House have used the popular age estimating app How Old on young homeless people to emphasise how much living on the streets ages you. Using a popular app to hammer home a serious message shows that brands can even use popular, seemingly silly tools in a meaningful way, and make people think differently.
Brands need to listen up to the demands of Gen Z – they are ambitious, empowered, intelligent and opinionated. This generation will not just come running to any old pop-up – they demand a pop-up with a purpose.