These youngsters, capturing both Generation Z and their young Millennial counterparts, grew up in a world where information reaches them at a blink of an eye, where they instantly get notified if something happens, good or bad, far or near.
Trend 1: Involve me
Research example: A big opportunity is to tap into co-creation with NextGen in the ideation stage of innovation projects. While everyone can judge whether they like an idea or not, research shows that only 1% of the population consists of creative minds that can create truly new and fresh ideas. The key question though remains how to find and engage with that 1%. An example of how such collaboration can work is the creative network of eÿeka. They have a network of 400,000 creative minds all over the world, a vast majority of whom (77%) are NextGen consumers.
How would such a collaboration look in practice? Let’s take Oral B as an example, as they set out on an innovation project for a world-first Bluetooth-connected toothbrush. Their briefing to the network was “Tell us what an electrical toothbrush that can connect to the Internet should offer to change your life for the better”. This resulted in about 100 ideas!
Trend 2: Life’s a Hackathon
NextGen is always looking to do things more rapidly, more easily and more hassle-free.
Brand example: A brand that taps well into this trend is KLM, that created a service called Family Updates. After having booked a flight with KLM, you get the option to create a WhatsApp group in which KLM gives your friends and family updates about your flight. How easy is that.
Research example: To make research easy and more hassle-free, it is key that we start asking questions more naturally, using contemporary methods that are similar to the way NextGen communicates with each other (e.g. WhatsApp, Messenger). In an experiment with Heineken we learned that moving to a ‘more natural’ chat method boosted the level of participation and bonding. Furthermore, it led to more personal conversations and additional insights through more in-context answers.
Next to that, their attention span is limited, and time is of high value. So, if you want to catch their attention, your communication style may need adapting. Everything needs to be one swipe, tap or click away, snappy.
Brand example: Brands all over the world are aware of this trend and are creating snappy brand experiences, ranging from advertising and activation campaigns to even product design. For example, Glossier developed a packaging for their ‘Glossier You’ solid perfume that opens with the swipe of a thumb. A clever way to tap into a movement that has become an integral part of NextGen consumers’ everyday life.
Research example: For research this means levering the existing shortcuts familiar to NextGen such as swiping left and right. An example of how to use this in a research setting is a Tinder-like swiping tool which we often use in idea screening, where participants can easily indicate whether they dislike or like an idea by simply swiping left or right respectively. This simple tweak makes the research experience more fun, snappy and intuitive for the Next Generation.
Trend 4: Ditch the Box – Blurred Gender
Brand example: A good example of this trend is the genderless fashion shop called the Phluid project in New York. The space is furnished with unisex changing rooms, unisex toilets and has genderless mannequins. The story behind this fashion shop is that they want to empower people to be themselves without feeling any fear of judgement by others.
Research example: To better understand how we should address gender in research, we did an experiment. Instead of asking “What is your gender” with the standard options male and female, we asked participants to use a slider which they could move to indicate the degree to which they identify with male or female.
Die Generation Z überzeugen
So, what is next? Research certainly needs to step up its game, which can be done by small tweaks in line with current NextGen trends. Are you ready to NextGenify your research?