Marketers wanting to to get through to Generation Z may like to start with the idea that they're actually less different to other generations than one might imagine.

They generally don’t see themselves as trendsetters, they value spending time with friends and family, want a job they enjoy and want to plan for the future. And, they definitely are not obsessed with social media – they don’t care too much how many ‘likes’ they have, nor do they bother a great deal about owning the latest brands and products.

These are some of the findings from a new study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, Generation Z: Exile on Mainstream, that looks to uncover the motivations and values of this generation, defined here as those aged between 16 and 23 years old.

Researchers quizzed 1,000 young people across the UK about how much mainstream cultures and trends matter to them, and about what they want from the world, with the aim of coming up with insights that brands should be aware of when considering engaging with this emerging generation of consumers.

They found that Gen Z places a big priority on mental health and well-being – an average priority scored 100, and those questioned scored wellbeing and mental health as 168; being with friends and family scored 171, and having an enjoyable job, 149.

Having lots of ‘likes’ on social media scored just 8, and being up to date with the latest trends, 15.

Gen Z don’t generally define themselves as one personality, with only 4% saying they like to follow the crowd; instead they see themselves as having multiple identities according to their interests, such as foodie, feminist, bookworm, etc.

They want stability in their future with saving for the future rated 130 and ‘securing a job for life’, 104. A third like to plan ahead rather than live day-to-day (12%). Starting a family is important for 38%, compared to 32% who prefer to party.

And, like just about all of us, they are time poor and choice averse, with 60% saying a big range of choice makes decisions harder, and 69% considering having a product tailored to them in the future.

So, brands that offer both convenience and bespoke content appeal most to Gen Z, including Netflix, Spotify, ASOS and Monzo.

The Generation also likes to see itself as empathetic and principled, with 64% claiming to be activists in some way. Their top five issues are: climate change (38%), mental health (29%), the gap between rich and poor (19%), Brexit (19%) and the NHS (17%).

Sourced from IPA; additional content by WARC staff