Gen Z marketing became a focus for marketers as they now enter college and will soon be taking over colleges entirely. As this change happens, it’s important to consider the social and political views of Generation Z. Learn how they are similar and different from prior generations. According to a study published by Pew Research Center, Generation Z shares many views similar to that of the Millennial generation that immediately preceded them, meaning they are generally more liberal and open to diversity than generations prior. We have previously reflected on the Generation Z’s take on gender identity and the environment. Now we will focus on race.
Generation Z and Race
Looking at issues of race, Generation Z views are often in line with those of Millennials. About 6 in 10 people from each generation believe increased racial and ethnic diversity is a good thing for society. These numbers are far ahead of the number of people from the older generations surveyed that agree with this statement. And while very few people of any generation believe interracial marriage is a bad thing for the country, Gen Z and Millennials are the least likely generations to believe so. Only 4% of each generation believes it is a bad thing for the country. In comparison, 12% of the oldest generation surveyed, the Silent Generation, believe this.
When looking at political leanings, even more generational differences begin to emerge. On the question of whether black people are treated worse than white people in the United States, Democrats said yes far more often than Republicans. More than three fourths of Democrats in every surveyed generation said yes to this. Republicans who agree are below 50% in all generations, but with a much larger range. 43% Generation Z Republicans believe black people suffer worse treatment than white people in the United States. Only 30% of Millennial Republicans agree, and with older generations these numbers get even smaller. Similar to their views on climate change, Generation Z Republicans appear to be partially breaking with some traditional views of their party.
College Marketing Implications
When engaging in Gen Z marketing, it’s important to keep in mind their views. Members of Gen Z believe diversity is a good thing, so demonstrating your company’s diversity can be a winning strategy. Advertisements featuring real people should feature diversity whenever possible. Generation Z would negatively view an advertisement lacking diversity . Companies, particularly more public-facing ones, can also demonstrate their diversity through their hires. Diversity among employees and particularly top executives demonstrates that a company can “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk.”
Finally, speaking up about racial justice issues can actually be a benefit with Gen Z marketing. While the country as a whole may view certain topics controversially, Gen Z is more overwhelmingly supportive of certain beliefs. It is important to still be cautious in this approach, but the benefits can be great. Speaking up about issues can add a sense of legitimacy that a simple diverse ad cannot.