NEW YORK, April 18, 2012 — In its April trend report, JWT, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, examines the attitudes and tech habits of the youngest generation, Gen Z, based on a survey of tweens and teens (ages 8 to 17) and their parents in the U.S. and the U.K.
“Gen Z: Digital in Their DNA” focuses on how Gen Z use their devices, the Internet and social networks; how much they value these digital tools and services; and how they prefer to communicate. It examines their spending habits, how the economy is affecting their outlook and what else is weighing on their minds. The report also looks at how Gen Z parents feel about their child’s digital activities, how they shop with their kids, and concerns for their child’s future.
“This generation takes for granted a world of smartphones, tablets and high-speed wireless Internet—24/7 digital connections,” says Ann Mack, director of Trendspotting at JWT. “They’re also wired to socialize digitally, which is reshaping how kids communicate and with whom.”
JWT’s trend reports are the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. For this report, JWTIntelligence surveyed 400 adults, 200 tweens aged 8-12 and 200 teens aged 13-17 in the U.S. and the U.K. using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.
Findings from the survey include:
For Gen Z, digital connections trump money, music, movies and more: Digital connection is essential. As many as 90% of young American and British respondents would be reluctant to give up their Internet connection (vs. 78% who said the same for their mobile phone, and 76% for texting friends). Overall, Internet connections, mobile phones and the ability to text friends are valued more highly than allowance money and various material goods, and significantly more highly than real-world activities like going to the movies or eating out.
Digital socializing seen as easier and more convenient: More than half of Gen Z respondents say it’s easier to chat with friends digitally, or more convenient. And significant percentages prefer socializing online: Around 4 in 10 are more comfortable talking to people online than in real life and find it more fun. On most of these counts, boys are a little more likely than girls to prefer digital communication.
Parents have mixed feelings about social networking: While parents recognize the value of social networks to their child and almost all trust their child to use them responsibly, they’re also well aware of the dangers they pose, with 8 in 10 parents paying close attention to their tween’s social networking.
“Since Gen Z is more connected and tech-fluent than any generation before it, brands are challenged to deliver optimal digital experiences and tools, and to sync up with these consumers on emerging platforms and in innovative ways,” says Mack.
To download the full report click here. Additional knowledge and research on JWTIntelligence.com includes recent trend reports on food, music, social commerce and the travel sector, 10 Trends for 2012 and 100 Things to Watch in 2012.
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CONTACTS Gemma Pollard, Global Communications Manager, JWT +1 (212) 210-8516 firstname.lastname@example.org