Entrepreneurs share how Gen Z is changing business

by | Jun 15, 2021 | Blog

Loretta Markevics

Loretta Markevics

Founder of Sēd Communications

I’ve been examining Gen Z in the context of the startup world because the focus of Sēd Communications is ensuring the success of startups. Gen Z is their future.

  1. The lines are blurred between the term’s startup, side hustle, and small business for Gen Z and the old nomenclature to distinguish business types may no longer fit. Therefore, when trying to attract potential Gen Z employees as a business owner, you may not be doing yourself a favor if you describe your company as a startup.
  2. Gen Z cannot really name any startups except the OG startups like Airbnb, Uber, or Facebook. It doesn’t seem Gen Z is being spoken to directly by many startups, possibly because of their lack of income, but brands may be missing out on courting the future.
  3. Gen Z grew up in a time of instability and is entering the workforce in a pandemic. This recent reality and others shaped Gen Z to crave stability in life and their jobs.

    Startups, seen by this cohort as unstable and almost mom and pop, may not be able to offer them the stability and even health benefits they desire. Startups offering creativity and being a part of something is great, but the foundational elements need to also be in place.
  4. At the same time, members of Gen Z have many interests and their desire to explore and for variety in life inspires their side hustles. While many members of Gen Z are running their own businesses on the side, they have no long-term intentions of taking any business risks. For the most part, they seem to be Gen Z’s “plan B” while navigating an unpredictable market.

Sēd Communications

Josh Wood

Josh Wood

CEO of Bloc

Bloc is social events app that connects people before events and rewards people for attending venues. Gen Z and Millenials are our main target audience and our data suggests that Gen Z are attending nightclubs, bars and pubs far less than Millenials.

We have also analysed that they go to restaurants more than any other type of venue by over 75%, especially fast-food venues.

This creates a challenge for us as our app does offer more value when used at venues other than restaurants.

They’re also much harder to market to as they spend most of their time on Snapchat and Tik Tok, whose advertising isn’t as powerful as Facebook or Instagram.


Bloc

Matt Stormoen

Matt Stormoen

Co-Founder & CEO of Mobibi, Inc..

For context, I’ve been a digital marketer for the past 15 years, and I’m the founder and CEO of a marketing technology company called Mobibi, based in Santa Monica, California. We developed an influencer marketing platform that empowers creators and brands to tell their stories and strengthen their influence.

For one, even as a marketer, I’m not a fan of generational labels. As such, I think the insistence on using “Gen Z” as a label is, in itself, changing everything, and not necessarily for the better. Whether it’s in marketing or workplace culture, this generational labeling can be divisive and makes businesses miss the mark on how to talk to and engage with a younger audience.

In terms of temperament, behavior, and interests, younger generations of years past were not any different from the younger generation we see today; the only advantage that the so-called “Gen Z” has right now is access to more advanced digital technologies. And digital marketers, myself included, to meet KPIs and OKRs, tend to just see the population for the technologies and the platforms they consume: Facebook is for older generations, TikTok and Snapchat are for the young ones, insert other generational stereotypes here.

As such, we end up talking down on a rather sizable and influential part of the population. We rarely want to see our targets as people, with diverse interests and temperaments. However, if you do pay attention, you will realize that there are actually so many types of “Gen Z” out there that it almost defeats the purpose of having to define and describe them as a demographic.

Mobibi

Sammy Courtright

Sammy Courtright

Chief Brand Officer of Ten Spot

Because Gen Z has already had negative experiences so early in their professional lives – with 86% already having faced discrimination or abuse at work, they will be deeply motivated to make significant changes at work.

Gen Z will be the generation that embraces having difficult conversations to create a more transparent work environment.

Additionally, Gen-Z will be eager to make a move for leadership positions to implement change.

This will range from getting involved in or spearheading groups at work that contribute to company culture and philanthropic activities to advocating for real collaboration and connection between employees at work.
Ten Spot

Tytus Golas

Tytus Golas

CEO at Tidio

As Gen Z is entering the workforce and gaining consumer power, the changes they are bringing in the industry cannot go unnoticed. Being diverse, tech-savvy, and emotionally intelligent, Gen Z makes businesses adapt to cater to them as employees and as customers.

Together with them growing up, the tech industry is becoming even more innovative, digitalized, and unfortunately, socially isolated as it is also a quality of Gen Z – the generation of ‘digital loners’.

As an employer, we value our Gen Z employees and try to align our values with their generational ones.

A good paycheck, generous benefits, job security, and ultimate honesty at the workplace are the things we gladly provide.
Gen Z are much more likely to work in a company where every worker is valued rather than treated as a silent ‘part of the workforce.’ They also want to have a lot of diversity within the company, celebrating and empowering people’s differences and learning from each other.

As a business, we see how communication with customers is changing as more and more young people gain consumer power. Gen Z love fast and personalized service, tolerate no false promises, and are more reluctant to talk to support agents unless absolutely necessary.

We take these preferences into account and try to deliver impeccable service – in the end, every customer can benefit from fast and efficient communication, no matter how old they are.

Thanks to Gen Z, companies are starting to realize this better.

Gen Z is predicted to change the world one day. And I can definitely see it – they are changing the world of business step by step, one interaction at a time.

It is very exciting to see how they will advance in the workplace and where it takes them eventually.

Tidio

James Lloyd-Townshend

James Lloyd-Townshend

CEO of Nigel Frank International

The values of Gen Z are primarily concerned with equality, inclusion, diversity and wellbeing, and their dedication to achieving these goals are changing how businesses operate.

Whether it means being more open about your company’s carbon footprint or clarifying how you factor equal opportunities into your hiring process, businesses today are expected to step up.

Younger generations are making up a growing percentage of the workforce, so if you’re not already addressing these issues, the increasing pressure from Gen Z as will mean you will have no choice but to make big changes.

This generation are obsessed with transparency. If you’re secretive about how your business works internally, it will impact the chances of you attracting great talent as they begin their job search and will damage your reputation if candidates believe you aren’t doing your part.

Only associating with businesses that share their values, and unapologetically stand up to injustice is the norm for Gen Z, so it’s important that companies are speaking up, raising awareness, and to generally, just doing good.

For us, that means making sure we share details of the work we’re doing on DEI to encourage conversation on topics surrounding diversity and inclusion, share best practices with other businesses, and give people greater insight into the social challenges we’re tackling in our sector.

We also currently have four employee social groups centered around diversity matters, to ensure we continue to develop in this area.

Gen Z expect companies to be highly responsive to their needs. They should be able to instantly identify that businesses are shifting away from ideals and moving towards reality by putting their words into action.

Honesty really is the best policy with this generation and working towards anything less can be detrimental to your business.
Nigel Frank International

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Sean Weisbrot

Sean Weisbrot

Sean is an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor based in SE Asia for over 12 years. He is passionate about Psychology and helping others improve themselves.

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