6 Industries Gen Z is Changing Forever:
And What Every Industry Can Learn From It 

While the decline of Facebook, cable TV, and print media may be interesting to observe, there is little left to be learned or applied to other industries; we have known for a long time 1) don’t let the parents in, 2) streaming is big, and 3) teens prefer screens over paper. But Gen Z is forcing the transformation of other industries too and the behaviors compelling those changes have implications across many categories.

Funerals and the Record Business

Funerals. That’s right. Gen Z is changing how people are buried. According to research from Simplicity Cremations25% of young people in Great Britain want their ashes to be compressed into a vinyl record and another 25% would like their ashes to be used to generate power.  This is just a sample of the behavioral shifts we see in the youngest generation – the desire to be thought of uniquely or to be directly connected to the environment.

Nearly 50% young consumers said if they are cremated, they want their ashes made into a diamond  

Simplicity Cremations, January 2019 

Meat, or Should We Say Meatless

When we think of young people and food, we generally think of flavor and fun. Teens spend money on snacks, beverages, and sweets while shopping mainly at convenience stores and vending machines. But when it comes to one food category, a new and powerful dynamic has emerged. According to research conducted by leading American foodservice provider, Aramarknearly 80% of Gen Z plan to go meatless 1-2x per week. Gen Z already includes more self-identified vegetarians than previous generations. So why does this matter if you’re not in the food industry? Well it turns out that young people aren’t just going veggie for health reasons, but because of its global and environmental impact. So, Gen Z’s views will have an influence on a wide range of industries from household goods to apparel.

35% of Gen Z vegetarians have made the choice in support of animal rights and environmental impact  

Fuse, April 2019 

Higher Ed’s Results “Crisis”

It’s en vogue to call out the “crisis” of Higher Education. You won’t hear that from us – there are more than 4,000 colleges and universities – which doesn’t sound much like a calamity on either the buy or sell side. Rather, the Higher Ed landscape is changing at the pace you’d expect in an industry in which its consumers have evolved their buying decision criteria. Gone are the hay-days of party schools and six years to graduate. Gen Z likes to play it safe and their risk-averse demands of the college they choose include efficiency, economy, and resultsThey plan to move through their college experience without delay, maximizing four years, and no more.  Their economic principle is simple – graduate with as little student debt as possible. And last, they are motivated by career outcomes. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the new Gen Z profile is similar to that of adult learners.

Almost 70% of Gen Z thinks “career opportunities” is the most important college selection criteria

Fuse, April 2019 

Banking’s App Problem

Gen Z will soon to be the largest generational demographic and as the largest demographic they will soon dominate overall consumer consumption. And in order to consume, they will need a bank. A challenge for the banking industry is that their foundation is the opposite of Gen Z’s preferences. While young consumers desire unique retail experiences, banks tend to be stale. Whereas Gen Z is accustomed to simple sign-ups, often with a single click linked to an existing app they already use, banks seemingly make every interaction complex and repetitive. And to a mobile-first generation who appreciates new apps every day, banking apps seem outdated.

Just 20% of Gen Z think that their banking app is “average” compared to other apps they use

Fuse, April 2019 

Gyms and Health Clubs’ Need to Get Holistic

According to Club Industry, Gen Z represents 15% of all health club members. The challenges to the gym industry are complex. To begin with, Gen Z does not share their older counterpart’s definition of fitness. While Gen X and Y abide by a traditional definition (i.e. cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, body composition), Gen Z takes a holistic view that includes physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual fitness. So, the gym industry’s yearly fourth and first quarter advertising centered on weight loss is not relevant to younger consumers. While 70% of Gen Z say they work out regularly, only half go to a gym, while the other half rely on free workouts online and inexpensive fitness apps.

35% of Gen Z say “emotional fitness” (being attentive to their thoughts and feelings) is the most important fitness – the same number as say “physical fitness”

Fuse, April 2019 

Real Estate’s Headed to the Suburbs

Location. Location. Location. Except for Gen Z. Despite the trend in recent years toward city-dwelling, Gen Z seems likely to reverse its course, as it shows more interest in suburban living. When it comes to why Gen Z is turning away from city life, our study found four statically equal themes; (1) Cost is almost always a key consideration for young people. Having (2) additional living space and (3) amenities are important. And while “connectivity” is often a term applied to urban settings, young people believe they are just as likely to (4) find their community in suburbs.

60% of Gen Z plans to live in the suburbs or in a rural setting

Fuse, April 2019 

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