Transparency & honesty is the key to progress, and especially post-2024. This period of recovery and push for better within all aspects of our lives since Covid-19 has not been without its challenges. Although some areas have improved since those unprecedented times, we still have important areas of our global industries falling behind. The health and educational sectors are being hit hard and exponential change is needed more than ever.
Generation Z is known for being highly collaborative, self-reliant, pragmatic and the first generation never to know the world without the internet. For ‘Gen Zers’ living in the UK and United States, the ‘norm’ they experienced as children was a world that operated at speed, scale and scope. With this said Gen Z have been confronted with numerous obstacles over the last few years. On top of adjusting to post-pandemic life, the cost-of-living crisis, war and climate breakdown are having a further toll on young adults and impacting their mental health.
Despite the need for support continuing to rise, young people are still left facing an agonising wait for NHS appointments – a system that cannot keep up with demand. The UK government’s response so far has just not been good enough according to Gemma Byrne, Head of health policy and campaigns. A survey of school Heads and other staff by Place2Be and the National Association of Head Teachers published in February found that large majorities had seen increases in mental health problems among pupils since the start of the academic year, including low self-esteem (86%), depression (76%) and sustained feelings of anger (68%).
How can we all do our part to help?
Across the globe, political, environmental and cultural upheavals are changing the next generation’s ideas about identity, community, technology, safety, and ultimately how we live. Gen Z is hopeful that their future looks brighter than the current climate they are living in. Individuals, brands, businesses and governments learning Gen Z’s needs in this period of recovery will create more unified, happier and future-proofed communities worldwide with no one left behind.
Brands have already started to create change and awareness of Gen Z mental health, for example, Spotify Culture Next highlights key findings into Gen Z and their interactions with their platform and streaming service. By doing extensive research into their demographic and music needs, Spotify uncovered that ‘77% of Gen Z compared to their counterpart Millennials (58%) are likely to call their generation stressed out’. This finding along with other insights highlighted that 78% of Gen Z find comfort in their nostalgic childhood tunes of the 2010s and prior more than our current decade. To answer the needs of Spotify’s Gen Z consumers, they created throwback and nostalgic playlists to help soothe this generation. Spotify went further and found artists remixing old classics into new alternatives to bringing throwbacks through a contemporary lens to inspire Gen Z with something new whilst keeping sentimentality.
‘71% of Zs in the UK said they like listening to and watching media from earlier decades because it reminds them of when things were simpler.’
Spotify Culture Next survey, U.K., among 750 respondents 15-40, MAR-APR’22
Time for change!
Brands working with young demographics, in particular Gen Z, need to fully understand their needs in order to help work with them as opposed to deciding for them what they need. This young cohort’s youth have been put through the elements with some feeling their life has been paused, derailed and hindered thus causing anxiety. And brands like Spotify are paving the way showcasing that they can understand their consumer and answer their needs, whilst having a successful business.
At Guerilla we understand the importance of consumer research. We know how brands need to understand their consumer audience, whilst ensuring that not only a brand image is identifiable but also that their consumer needs are heard and acted upon. Transparency and honesty from a brand to its consumer is becoming more essential as part of a brand’s identity and story. To find out more, visit our contact page.