Generation Z has some really interesting aspects in association with them. They are the young folks who are buried in their cellphones. In fact, they don’t get magazine subscriptions like we do, but they read the same articles on their cell phones. They don’t watch the news on TV, but they see the same reports on their cellphones.
This is the generation that has had social media and cell phone (ie miniature computers) their entire life as a consumer. Social is not “virtual” to them, but is reality.
One Gen Z came up with a great idea … that there should be a phone invented that is attached to the wall so you can’t lose it. A rotary dial phone is an artifact that they likely have never seen, let alone used.
In a study, 46% of the Gen Z would choose to have internet access over owning a car. The reject traditional and authoritative marketing. You don’t tell them to “Go out NOW and buy XXX.” They need to be constantly courted for their attention and they are much more socially responsible than previous generations.
Often, they will buy the lesser brand if that company has made a social statement and commitment that is shared by the Gen Z, such as those who give a portion of their profits to social endeavors like conservation. They look for a personal / emotional connection to products.
This generation is very influential in what their parents are purchasing, too.
These are the people who Big Business has laid off their parents or lost their retirement, Big Banks have taken their homes, and Big Media has lied to them. They have grown up in a recession and they do not trust those entities that their grandparents trusted.
Those companies who are aware of these changing attitudes are changing their marketing plans, their employment strategies, and they are building and growing. Those who do not change according to the changes in their customers, may not grow.
Here in the Panhandle we have a generation of young kids who care about their community, who want to be a part of improving our home and making it better for our people. Sometimes we get so set in our ways that we don’t let the young ones come in and help.
But they young ones have more energy, they have some new ideas, and they are stronger, quite often. We need to be partners with our youth. That means we need to listen to them, we need to talk with them, and we need to teach one another. It’s all about respect.
No matter what your age, I applaud those who care and who put some sweat equity behind the talk. I thank those who support our community, who work as volunteer Sunday School teachers, City Council members, School Board members, community clean – up helpers, Pioneer Days volunteers (and other community events), those who keep the community food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, going, who take care of the Oakes of Mamre, the businesses who are Chamber and Main Street members, the ones who encourage their employees to be part of the civic organizations and community efforts, the entities that are here to help like Iron Thunder Motorcycle Club and Panhandle Partners, Lions Club and Rotary Club.
Thank you to all and when I see you on the bricks, my hat off to you all. And if you’re not involved with some of these, ask yourself why you aren’t. It would be interesting to know.
See you on the Bricks!