Strategist Jeremy Finch, appearing in Fast Company, has written an interesting article entitled, “What is Generation Z, And What Does It Want?” This group, with the oldest members being 18, “makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and by 2020 will account for 40% of all consumers.” Finch stresses that “understanding them will be critical to companies wanting to succeed in the next decade and beyond.” Finch’s firm, Altitude, working in-depth with 16- to 18-year-olds, provides a “view [of the] world through their eyes.” Here is what they discovered:

1: IT’S NOT AN ATTENTION PROBLEM, IT’S AN 8-SECOND FILTER.

“Gen Z have a carefully tuned radar for being sold to and a limited amount of time and energy to spend assessing whether something’s worth their time.”

2: THEY’RE NOT SCREEN ADDICTS, THEY’RE FULL-TIME BRAND MANAGERS.

“They need social media to build their personal brands but resist being defined by it. They seek social validation and inclusion but are looking to differentiate themselves professionally.”

3: THEY’RE NOT ALL ENTREPRENEURS—THEY’RE PRACTICAL PRAGMATISTS.

“We found that while Gen Z like the idea of working for themselves, the majority are risk-averse, practical, and pragmatic.”

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