What's the next big thing for Generation Z?

16 April 2018 / Brían Taylor

What emerging tech could help you cut through to a Gen Z audience? Our survey revealed that some of the newest tech hardware is only owned by a small proportion of Z (e.g. smartwatches and virtual reality headsets were owned by 7% and 8% respectively). With 42% of Z having £125 or less to spend monthly, perhaps this isn’t surprising.

Even when asked about their purchasing intentions, Z exhibited low inclination towards purchasing any technological device in the foreseeable future with exception of a smart TV. 73% either already own or are planning to buy one (Figure 16). It seems that Z are happy (for now) with a high-quality smartphone – it’s about quality over quantity, and a smartphone is a key enabler of orchestrating experiences for Z and their friends.

Below: Figure 16; Gen Z ownership and intentions to purchase new tech hardware

Even of the respondents that were in possession of these more recent tech developments, for example a VR headset, less than a third used it on a frequent basis.

The launch of tech such as smartwatches and virtual reality equipment certainly have a role to play in certain arenas (i.e. gaming and healthcare) but for the mainstream brands, the penetration and purchasing intent simply isn’t there yet for this maturing audience. It is likely to be the mobile phone that acts as the enabler for mass penetration of new tech - for example the addition of high resolution camera capabilities to smartphones almost eradicated the need for the previous point-and-shoot style digital cameras.

The indications are that Z welcome tech that adds value to the brand experience through hardware they already own - namely the smartphone, but quickly tire of any superfluous vanity projects. Invest where you’re going to add true value – not just for fear of being left behind.


Key brand points

1. AR will be a big play for Gen Z, whether they are vocalising their need for it or not. With the inclusion of AR features within Android and rolled into the latest iOS 11 release, accessibility became mainstream, giving the audience a taste of the technology from their most loved device.

The full Generation Z report is available to download. Click here to get your free digital copy.