Understanding Generation Z: An Overview

AUGUST 2018 | UNDERSTANDING GENERATION Z: AN OVERVIEW

Understanding Gen Z





Gen Z is defined as the generation born between 1995 and 2004, which
currently puts them between 16 and 22 years old. One in four Americans is
defined as a Gen Zer,1 making this group the largest living generation.

Gen Zs have a very distinct personality—they are not just the younger version of Millennials. More significantly, within the next five years, Gen Z will become the fastest-growing generation in the workplace and the marketplace. Those brands that make an effort to understand this huge upcoming consumer segment will gain a large competitive advantage.


  • Gen Z is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in U.S. history2
  • They are willing to work hard and are confident their hard work will lead to success
  • They are financially undereducated, more so than generations that came before
  • Gen Zs love shopping in-store and believe the shopping experience is as important as the product itself



This is a generation of true digital natives. Growing up constantly connected to their smartphones, 42% of Gen Zs say they interact more with their phones than they do with people. They also have less guilt about using technology than their older counterparts.



Generation Z is a huge population of diverse, optimistic and highly digital
individuals. They are different from Millennials, and have their own distinct
attitudes and behavior. Brands who understand this generation and put plans in place to speak to them in ways that are relevant and compelling will be the winners in the future. See our white paper for Gen Z’s financial and shopping thoughts and habits.


The insights for this white paper were gathered using a multiphased research approach.

All references to consumers and population refer to survey respondents, except where specifically cited.

PHASE 1: SECONDARY RESEARCH
Synchrony leveraged existing syndicated and secondary data to identify insights and knowledge gaps before kicking off Synchrony research.
Timing: May – July 2017

PHASE 2: QUALITATIVE
Synchrony partnered with market research and strategy firm Chadwick Martin Bailey to conduct an online immersion with Gen Z participants in four U.S. markets. Subsequently, in-home interviews (ethnographies) and shopping excursions were concluded.
Timing: October – November 2017

PHASE 3: QUANTITATIVE
For comparison, Synchrony conducted a multigenerational survey with over 4,000 respondents.
Timing: December 2017 – January 2018


Click here for details on Gen Z's shopping habits.


For more insights from Synchrony, click here .

1Fast Company. What is Generation Z, And What Does it Want? May 14, 2015. https://www.fastcompany.com/3045317/what-is-generation-z-and-what-does-it-want. Used with permission of FastCompany.com ©2018 All rights reserved
2Business Insider. Meet Generation Z, the ‘millennials on steroids’ who could lead the charge for change in the US. December 4, 2017. https://www.businessinsider.com/generation-z-profile-2017-9
3NRF. Who is Gen Z. February 27, 2017. https://nrf.com/blog/who-gen-z


This content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual attorney, financial or other advisors with respect to any information presented. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion.


© 2018 Synchrony. All rights reserved. No reuse without prior written consent from Synchrony.

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