The Rise of “Zillennials”: The redefinition of Generations of Consumers in 4IR

The world is moving fast. Traditional marketing strategies based on concepts like “Consumer Attitudes,” “Demographics,” and “Perceptions” may no longer be 100% effective for marketers, especially in understanding and targeting a new group that falls between Gen Z and Millennials, dubbed Zillennials.

This in-between generation challenges the classic segmentation methods, leaving marketers at a strategic disadvantage. The dynamic nature of this group requires a more nuanced approach beyond conventional buzzwords.

The competition for attention between Gen Z and Millennials has intensified in recent years. The traditional mindset of Millennials clashes with the practical outlook of Gen Z. In our “Gen AI’s Creative Crossroads” series, we take a look into the microgeneration called “Generation Zillennials”.

Redefining Gen Z

Researchers and consumer experts appear to agree that millennials or Gen Z’s, who were born at the intersection of the two generations, have a distinct and alluring culture.

So what are Zillennials? The Urban Dictionary would characterize “Zillennials” as an edgy mash-up label that describes the cusp of Gen Z and millennial. Everyone born between 1981 and 1996 is referred to as a Millennial, while the rest between 1997 and 2012 are Gen Z.

According to Deborah Carr, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Social Science at Boston University, “Zillennials refer to a small cohort born between the early 1990s and the early 2000s”.

In commerce, “Zillennials” can be characterized by a combination from both generations. Since “Zillennial” customers are pragmatists and knowledgeable, this is inherited from the Gen Z caricature. So it is essential to provide them with deals and goods that truly benefit them.

Additionally, they have a strong social conscience handed down from the head-strong Millennials, this means that your brand should consider how it develops into a more responsible/sustainable company with CSR, ESG and definitely no greenwashing!

Another “Zillennial” cue is frequenting various media channels. Simply put, if you have not already, you should think about putting an omnichannel strategy into place.

Technology is a key factor in shaping the identity of “Zillennials”

In light of all we’ve covered thus far, we ask ourselves: How can marketers effectively target Zillennial consumers with consideration of the “creative cutoff?

Prioritizing the “middle child” of the generations is only remedied by ensuring individualized experiences that are not too reliant on the formulative segmentation guides. The Zillennial consumers want to see value for their money and react favorably to tailored communications.

Your brand’s ability to connect exclusive deals and incentives with social media will further improve your ability to connect with Zillennials.

Compared to their older or younger counter parts, it might not be as simple. However, with a little AI strategic creativity, you can organize promotional offers that can really help you establish rapport.

How to target “Zillennials”:

1. Curated Content marketing: Provide insightful and meaningful content that answers their modern problems or speaks to their interests. Over time, content marketing can help your business become trusted and recognized as an authority.

2. Influencer Collabs: Work with influencers who share the same values as your company and who have a strong following with “Zillennials”.

3. UGC: Write product-related material. Given that both Gen Z and Millennials are more prone to believe recommendations from their peers, user-generated content can help establish credibility and trust with this demographic.

4. Personalization: Make marketing messages more relevant to Zillennials with the use of various technologies and data. Customizing your material according to users’ likes and habits can boost interaction dramatically.

Millennials + Gen Z = “Zillennials”

Even after defining and characterizing “Zillennials”, it is almost certain that they will still be mistaken for either the fore or the latter.

Despite the many similarities in the two generations, the microgeneration has significant implications for any brand as they risk missing out on a noteworthy niche if marketing and promotion strategies are not tailored accordingly.


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