'Plural' Generation Presents Unique Challenges For Marketers

Texting-Teens-AHow does the latest generation of consumers view the world around them?

While its portrait is still coming into focus, “Plurals” -- or those born since 1997 -- are highly optimistic, but have been profoundly impacted by recent economic uncertainties.

Also known as “Generation Z,” “Generation We” and the “iGeneration,” Plurals have witnessed a culture that celebrated excess, and has been through a recession and a fledgling recovery. As a result, this new generation is remarkably realistic about what is achievable, and feel that they must follow the path that will make them personally happy, according to Adam Rossow, head of marketing at iModerate.

“This group is fascinating for many reasons, but what’s truly impressive is their keen understanding of the world around them and the valuable lessons they have learned,” Rossow said. “Happiness and the individual freedom to pursue it are more important than financial success.”



Less focused on materialistic goals, iModerate’s findings suggest that Plurals are varied in their ambitions and patient in their pursuit of them. Basing its findings on qualitative, one-on-one conversations online between professional moderators and a set of just 50 male and female respondents between the ages of 13 and 15, respondents were asked to complete Pinterest Boards that represented their American Dream.

Larger studies have found Plurals to be similarly independent-minded and knowledgeable.

According to a recent report from Forrester Research, for instance, Plurals (which it dubs “Generation Z”) is the first generation of true digital natives.

“The only world they know is a digital one -- where they can connect anytime, anywhere, and to anyone,” Forrester analyst Tracy Stokes explained. “As a result, they are highly promiscuous when it comes to media consumption.”

Based on observational research, one-on-one interviews and analysis of secondary studies and databases, Dallas-based digital agency Slingshot painted a complex picture of Plurals last year. Highly demanding, Plurals expect brands to bend to their wishes, entertain them to no end, and meet the highest ethical and performance standards.

1 comment about "'Plural' Generation Presents Unique Challenges For Marketers".
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  1. Henry Blaufox from Dragon360, March 15, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.

    This may be the first "digital generation," but the cohort is still age 16 and younger. That is too young to drive, have a job, get out of school, or have a credit card in most states. So, whose money are they spending when brands chase them?

    As for ethics, ideals and anti-materialism, we've all been there before. Let's see what happens as these youngsters age into the workforce and take responsibility for their own lives.

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