Who is the GENERATION C ? [NIELSEN REPORT]
GENERATION C stands for “The Connected Collective Consumer”
Gen C is not a target audience but a community of digital natives that will partner with brands. To successfully market to Gen C consumers, brands must create fresh, cultural capital for Gen C to talk about – a process which also gives them “status” within their cohorts or “tribes” and social networks.
What makes Gen C “tick”:
- Tribal behavior: Like many youths, Gen C form their identities by belonging and expressing themselves within “tribes” reflecting the desire to “connect” around interesting ideas, cultural objects, causes and movements. Brands need to get into conversations that are happening within and across tribes.
- Social status derived by what you share: Gen C gains credibility in their friends’ worlds by expressing opinions, sharing ideas, observations and thoughts. Their influence depends on what they share and how often they share it.
- Bee-like swarm behavior: Powered by social media platforms, Gen C members mobilize as one with their tribes like bees around topics that interest them. When it comes to buying decisions, 85 percent of youths rely on peer approvals. Everything is reviewed and rated, making decision-making a team sport. Marketers must talk to “we”, not “me”. Marketing successfully becomes all about “talking to the community, not the individual”, and creating a conversation for the swarm to run with.
- Social oxygen: Gen C thrives on constant connectivity via social media platforms. Mobile devices have become “social oxygen”, enabling them to connect, create and share opinions and thoughts with their tribes. The mobile phone acts as a lifeline to the world, connecting not only with people they want to talk with, but also shielding them from those they do not.
- Continuous partial attention: Teens today consume 13 hours of content daily and have constant exposure to new ‘news’. As experts at managing content and information, they engage in never-ending conversations, constantly “livestreaming” their experiences to the world.
- Chameleons: Gen C consumers are “chameleons”, constantly changing and morphing their identities to simultaneously belong to as many different tribes as possible. One-dimensionality is not an option for Gen C.
- Co-creators: The social web has brought out Gen C’s creativity, leading to what Mr. Pankraz calls the “democratization of creativity”. They no longer consume ideas, but actively participate, play and collaborate. They demand to be part of the brand story.
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