Millennials, Gen Z: What's Trending, 1 Year Into Pandemic

One year into the pandemic, priorities have changed for businesses and young adults alike.  Here are the trends uncovered by recent research among Gen Z and millennials, along with comments from four female entrepreneurs.

Mental health: The pandemic had an economic impact on millennials and a cultural, social impact on Gen Z.

Ninety-two percent of young adults said they are more self-aware, notably when it comes to mental health. Young adults expect to be asked about their mental health status and expect brands to join the discussion. This means exploring mental health in campaigns and engaging with customers on ways to assist. As young people reevaluate their life, how are they navigating the journey -- and how can your brand help?

“Physical, mental, and emotional can’t be looked at independently,” said Elianna Goldstein, co-founder/CEO at GETMr. “When I have a great purse, how does this affect my confidence during the day? Or if I wear nice clothes or not on a Zoom? [Small acts such as these] can drive our long-term health.”



Life experiences: Young adults went from having FOMO (fear of missing out), to NOMO (NO MOments), to magnifying the memories they have, and are now living in a meaningful and intentional way. Actions matter and are carefully considered. The pandemic forced many to miss out on life events like weddings, graduations and prom.

Gen Z under-20-years-old enjoyed being home, spending time with their families and growing closer to their parents. They craved a sense of security, and unlike older Gen Z and millennials, feel no real sense of loss because it’s hard to miss what they never experienced.

Advertising: A new sense of brand discovery.  

When Gen Z and millennials purchase something they saw online, they are increasingly reporting that it is something they “found” --  nothing about how a targeted ad appeared in their timeline. Advertising is so organic that people don’t realize they are being advertised to. Millennials have more of a spending budget than Gen Z, but the younger demographic plays a vital role in driving sales to brands, even when they aren’t the ones buying. Gen Z introduces brands to their followers, friends, and family.

“Our company was very much founded on Instagram,” said Vanessa Holfert, senior vice president of marketing at Slumberkins. “The primary purchaser of our product has always been the millennial audience. Millennials are so important, but we’re also seeing a really interesting trend that young audiences are actually increasing their conversion rates with us year over year.”

Is your brand ready to celebrate? When the pandemic hit and everyone started hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer, consumers went online for some comfort buying. Now that millions of people are vaccinated and group restrictions are lifting, friends and family will gather together, and last year’s comfort buy will be this year’s celebration purchase. Can your brand handle the influx?

“As more people get vaccinated we’ll see an energy where people are going out, celebrating, partying, enjoying life and not taking it for granted,” said Wilglory Tanjong, founder of Anima Iris. “We’re going to see a continual ecommerce boom that smaller businesses should prepare for. [The pandemic] will forever change how people view themselves and how they view the world.”

1 comment about "Millennials, Gen Z: What's Trending, 1 Year Into Pandemic".
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  1. Scott Shirai from Visual Perspectives, April 12, 2021 at 4:05 p.m.

    Interesting comments but who's the source of the recent research alluded to in the first graf?

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