Youth marketing
min read

Inside the mind of a Gen Z: Key learnings

Published on
November 16, 2023
Last updated
January 23, 2024

What this article covers

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At Pion, we’d consider ourselves pretty well-versed in the Gen Z game.

However, we don’t just speak Gen Z’s language: we inform our strategy, insights and understanding through directly communicating with Gen Zers themselves.

Recently, we hosted a first-of-its-kind “Ask A Gen Z” webinar.

This webinar invited three Gen Zers to take to the virtual stage, and answer questions on a wide range of topics.

Beware: no holds barred and ready to go, this panel was an explosive look into the world of young consumers.

Here, we dissect some of the key learnings, covering sustainability, AI and entertainment.

Let's talk all things AI

No Gen Z panel discussion would be complete without some mention of technology – and AI is perhaps one of the hottest points of discussion right now. We asked our panel what they thought about AI, what AI means to them and if they thought AI was a threat to their way of life. 

The opinions were varied…

Panelist Bahawal shared he was hyper-aware of AI’s dominance in today’s world, but that he wasn’t an avid user of this kind of technology.

  • I mean, it’s a lot of things now isn’t it? AI keeps changing. I guess in a few months, or in a year or two, maybe it will be more useful and I might use it more but not at the moment.”

Rasan, a university student, shared that she often utilises AI for productivity purposes:

  • I think that it's something that can enhance how we already do things. At least that's kind of how I use it. Especially as a university student, it's really helpful to proofread your work or spot any mistakes. So I see it as something to make us – I guess – more efficient with our time.”

Panelist Jorja shared that she was nervous about the pervasive nature of AI. She noted that “people's roles and their jobs could be threatened if there is an overdominance of AI.”

Sustainability

Did you know that a whopping 93% of Gen Z believe that brands should care about sustainability? Yep – this generation wants brands to step up and take responsibility. But what about their own practices? How many young consumers are waving their green flag themselves?

Our panel noted that sustainability was important to them and their generation – however, there were mixed opinions on whether the onus of sustainability should be on individuals, what role governments and corporations should play, and whether individual impact was enough to be felt.

  • “It is important, but I do think I could play more of an active role. I think I have this tendency to believe my impact is not gonna make a big difference to the entirety of it all – but if everybody has that attitude then of course things are going to change, so I am conscientious around certain aspects” – Jorja
  • “I think the bigger issues are the decisions that corporations and governments make more than individual people.” –  Bahawal

Entertainment

Entertainment has become synonymous with Gen Z: they’re the streaming generation, the infamous 8-second-attention-span holders, and purveyors of pop culture. However, when it comes to what they’re watching and streaming, the discussion was interesting.

We found that our panel did not engage much with reality TV and preferred to watch drama shows – a surprising outcome considering the popularity of shows such as Love Island and Married At First Sight for Gen Z.  

  •  "I think for me when I watch something I want it to be like… I want, like, the production. I think that production quality is quite important. So I think that reality TV is just really choppy and kind of I guess amateur in that sense. it's not really anything that is cinematically, I guess stimulating.” – Rasan
  • “I don't really enjoy reality TV. I don't get the point of it. The only one I would say I watch is Love Island. But again, I don't watch that religiously. It’s more peer pressure because I know everybody else is watching it.” – Jorja

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