We often emphasise the importance of doing proper target audience research before enrolling in a social media or digital marketing strategy. And more often than not, clients express an interest in targeting the millennial generation. With that being said, there seems to be a new approach to the millennials that quiet literally divides this generation. Introducing the zillennials.
Who Are The Zillennials?
Zillennials are a hybrid between millennials and Generation Z (the zoomers). Often confused or misreported by the general public for young millennials or older Gen Z, zillennials don’t fully relate to main characteristics that make an individual a part of either generation.
For instance, zillennials don’t remember always having internet throughout their youth as Gen Z did. But, equally, zillennials don’t always remember VHS tapes from the 90s either as millennials do.
Urban Dictionary considers zillennials a micro-generation constituted of people from 1993-1998 that graduated high school from 2012-2016. The concept of the zillennial is a new one and not internationally recognized just yet (Grammarly is not even recognising the word zillennial as I type this!).
Yak Media describes the zillenials as a demographic incredibly disregarded as a whole generation. Claire Ince described what it’s like being a zillennial:
“Baby boomers love to talk about… fuel prices? and complain about how lazy and entitled the youngins’ are. Millennials love to claim ownership of things like ‘Friends’ and collectively bag out baby boomers and the entirety of Gen Z. And Gen Z is all about Tiktok, Hydro flasks, scrunchies, and saving the planet (which totally isn’t a bad thing).
But what happens when you don’t belong to a single generation? Being that I was born in 1998, I’ve found myself to be part of this weird transitional generation, who doesn’t really fit the description of Millennials or Gen Z.”
According to Digital crew, Zillennials make up 40% of future consumers. The same article mentions that most brands aren’t ready to compete with Generation Z due to digital and demographic hurdles, such as slow page and browser speed (Gen Z are a lot more impatient when it comes to waiting for aa page to load). But most brands can and are capable of catering to the Zillennials.
How Did This Concept Arise?
Emily Warna, in her Medium article breaking down the zillennials, explains that is unfair for an entire generation such as the millennials to have a twenty-year age gap between the oldest to the youngest members.
In addition, some members pertaining to the zillennial Generation have expressed online how certain typical millennial experiences aren’t relatable to some who belong to it.
The term Zillennial depicts the generation that grew and had their teens “during the transition from non-digital to digital-first.”Emily Warna
Just like Millennials, the Zillennials biggest trait is the witness of the technology development. They were the first generation that witnessed classes of IT being introduced to their curriculum.
- Social Media
Whilst they’ve also lived and experienced the rise of social media networks, zillenials are main users/adepts of Instagram, particularly the daily usage of the Instagram Stories feature. In comparison with Generation Z who prefers Tiktok and Snapchat, boomers that prefer Facebook and millennials that prefer Instagram and Youtube.
I truly believe that the Zillennial has an unparalleled view of what’s going on in the world and how we might be able to deal with that.Emily Warna
Here are some of the events that Zillennials experienced that shaped the generation as one:
- The release of the first Iphone in 2007.
- The first introduction to IT classes.
- Life before social media.
- Watching early YouTube, when the first content creators started getting monetised.
- Being too young to understand or remember 9/11, but being born before it.
- Not being connected online 24/7.
Why Is This Important?
- The more we understand the individual, the better we’re able to target according to their needs, habits, routines and consumption.
- Different audiences have different ways to communicate or to be spoken to.
- Individualism is also expressed by the way cohorts behave.
- It’s easy to forget a big part of the audience that currently owns the buying power.
What do you think about the Zillennials? Have you come across this term before? and if so what do you think about this “forgotten” cohort?
As a Zillennial myself I can admit, how reading about this was a breath of fresh air and strangely accurate for me!
Let us know what you think about all of this!
We would love to hear about your opinion.