Stories of how Gen Z makes older generations feel confused, disconnected and cheugy have made headlines in recent years.
What Gen Z likes and dislikes doesn’t have to be an elusive truth that’s always slightly out of reach. While it’s impossible to capture all of the nuanced opinions and feelings that shape the path all 9-24 year olds see the world in a few short sentences, a handful of helpful young people are eager to answer any questions you have about what’s going on in their specific worlds, and how growing up over the past decades has shaped their vision of trends.
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Day One Agency (D1A), a creative communications agency that has worked with beloved brands like Chipotle and Nike, has started a project called AskGenZ.com, which serves as a hub for brands (and individuals) interested in how Generation Z works.
Victoria Gates-Fleming, vice president of digital strategy and creative ideas at Day One Agency, told In The Know there’s a rush to understand Gen Z for a number of reasons. The generation is not only the newest in the neighborhood, it is also the first group of âdigital nativesâ, many of whom grew up with constant access to the Internet.
âThey are so connected. It scares me a little bit about the access they have to things compared to what [Millennials] did when we were youngerâ¦ with AOL and MySpace, âshe explained. âIt really puts Gen Z at the forefront of trends and what’s going on in the culture. I think it’s a little scary for some people.
She said Gen Z craves transparency, for example. Coupled with the determined realism that comes from easy access to information about the world (and the experience of missing formative life events due to the COVID-19 pandemic) as well as a remarkable willingness to learn, to push around and hack things, they can be a bit intimidating.
It doesn’t mean they don’t want to be understood.
âI think Gen Z really wants to be better understood. There are a lot of words that are just engraved on itâ¦ people like to put things in a bag. I think it all comes down to the shock of the new one, âsaid Gates-Fleming. “The comparison of having to watch this generation grow up so that publicly can breed insecurity.”
She noted that much of our current understanding of Gen Z comes from whether or not they said something uncool and loses track of the fact that when Millennials, Gen Xs and other generations were younger they did the same – now we just see that manifesting in skinny jeans and the laughing crying emoji.
âI think it comes down to the shock of the news. Millennials are realizing their own ageâ¦ and many content creators, especially on TikTok, are Gen Z while Millennials are prowlers, âshe said. “It can be a rude awakening,” she added.
What about those Gen Z experts who answer your questions about the ins and outs of culture? They are real employees from day one.
âWe couldn’t really be Gen Z experts if we didn’t have a ton of Gen Z [employees], “she said.” We’re extremely interested in Gen Z employees because they’re obviously the expertsâ¦ I even hired through TikTok. “
So how does the website work? Simply go to the website, submit your question, and wait up to 24 hours for a respondent (or a few) to share their âwisdomâ with you via email.
All questions and answers are also available on the site for reference, so you can dig through the archives and immerse yourself in Gen Z trends.
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The publication’s website aims to help older generations better understand that Gen Z first appeared on In The Know.