Given that this young cohort accounts for nearly 26% of the U.S. population, the least we could to show them some respect is to come up with a better name. They are not last in line, as implied by the letter Z, but in fact are at the forefront of new trends that will impact culture and commerce.
Unlike other generational names, Gen Z conveys little insight into the characteristics of this group. Boomers aptly described the population boom that follwed WWII. Gen X drew its name from the cohort's embrace of extreme sports, music and culture. And the term Millennials came about for obvious reasons.
Gen Z (basically anybody under the age 18) will have an enormous impact on the U.S., both from a social and an economic standpoint – they deserve a better name:
- Gen Tech, because they draw inspiration from technology, not just the internet.
- Inclusives, describing their multicultural and co-creative nature.
- Makers, tapping into their desire to build and create, not just watch and share.
Regardless what we call them, we should first get to know them. This presentation from Sparks & Honey is a great starting point.