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Millennials and Gen Z Consumers

Millennials and Gen Z Consumers: Understanding the Differences

As two of the most talked-about generations in recent years, millennials and Gen Z have been the subject of numerous studies and articles exploring their attitudes and behaviors as consumers. Understanding these differences can be crucial for businesses looking to engage with these audiences and develop marketing strategies that resonate with them.

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, have been described as “digital natives” who grew up with the internet and are comfortable using technology to research and purchase products. According to a survey by Accenture, 68% of millennials prefer to research and shop online, and they are more likely to make purchases on their mobile devices than any other age group (1).

In addition to their reliance on technology, millennials are also known for being socially conscious and valuing experiences over material possessions. A study by Eventbrite found that 78% of millennials would choose to spend money on an experience over buying something desirable (2). This has led to a rise in demand for travel, dining out, and entertainment among this generation.

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is even more tech-savvy than millennials, having grown up with smartphones and social media as an integral part of their lives. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, 94% of Gen Z consumers use YouTube regularly, and 70% watch more than two hours of content per day (3).

Gen Z consumers are also known for being highly socially aware and politically active. A survey by The Harris Poll found that 69% of Gen Z respondents are concerned about the environment, and 79% believe companies have a responsibility to address social issues (4). This has led to a growing trend of “conscious consumption” among Gen Z consumers, who are more likely to choose brands that align with their values.

So how can businesses engage with these audiences effectively? One key is to recognize that these generations are not monolithic – they are diverse and have varied interests and priorities. It’s important to conduct research and gather insights into what matters most to these consumers, and to tailor marketing messages and strategies accordingly.

Another important factor is authenticity. Both millennials and Gen Z consumers value transparency and honesty from brands, and they are quick to call out those that appear disingenuous. This means that businesses need to be genuine in their messaging and demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between millennials and Gen Z consumers can help businesses develop effective marketing strategies that resonate with these audiences. Whether it’s through technology, experiences, social responsibility, or authenticity, there are many ways to engage with these generations and build lasting relationships with them as customers.


▪︎ Millennial: The term “millennial” is used to refer to the generation of people born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s. This generation came of age at the turn of the 21st century, and their experiences were shaped by significant cultural and technological changes, including the rise of the internet, social media, and mobile devices.The term “millennial” comes from the idea that this generation came of age around the turn of the millennium, which was a significant moment in global history. The term was popularized by researchers and social scientists who were studying this generation’s unique characteristics and experiences.Today, the term “millennial” is often used to refer to young adults in general, regardless of their actual birth year. However, it is important to note that there are significant cultural and economic differences between millennials and other generations, and these differences have shaped their attitudes and behaviors in unique ways.

▪︎ Gen Z: Gen Z” is a term used to describe the demographic cohort that comes after the “Millennial” generation. The exact dates that define the start and end of Gen Z are not universally agreed upon, but it generally includes individuals born between the late 1990s and the mid-2010s.The term “Gen Z” is thought to have originated from the term “Generation Z” which was coined by the marketing firm, Frank N. Magid Associates in a 1991 report to describe the generation born after Generation X. The term “Z” was chosen as it was the last letter of the alphabet, indicating that this was the last generation to be born. Gen Z is also referred to as the “iGeneration” or “Digital Natives,” as they were born into a world where technology and the internet have always been a part of daily life. They are known for their fluency in technology, their diversity, and their desire for authenticity and social justice.


Accenture. (2018). Generation Z and Millennials Desperately Seeking Sustainable Retail. Retrieved from 

Eventbrite. (2019). Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers: Who’s Attending Live Events? Retrieved from 

McKinsey & Company. (2019). Gen Z Enters the Workforce. Retrieved from 

The Harris Poll. (2019). Study Finds Gen Zers More Concerned with Social Issues Than Previous Generations. Retrieved from 

Cambridge Dictionary: 

Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins



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