Recession Generation not Gen Z | Huffington Post

“Today’s teens – the younger brothers and sisters of the Millennials – are very different from the sort of teenager we’re used to. They’re less hedonistic, more serious and more realistic – and their attitudes and behaviours are going to drive products, sales and marketing for the next ten years.

“Some people call them Generation Z. Not me. I call them what they are: the Recession Generation.

“Why not ‘Z’? Like most professional researchers, I believe that cohorts should be named after a characteristic not a letter. Identifying a group as simply the next in a set sequence is not just insulting to their individuality, it’s also confusing. A generation’s name should describe their strongest shared experience: the experience that ‘made them what they are’. Generation X weren’t called that because they came after Gen W. The “X” meant something specific. It meant “insert a value here”. It meant – depending on your view of them – either ‘Generation Anything’ or ‘Generation Nothing’ (that “X” worked fine for both). Meanwhile Boomers grew up in a baby boom, so had the confidence that comes from being part of a large group. Millennials came of age at the start of a brand new Millennium, so were buoyed up by possibilities.

“Why ‘Recession’? Because the way they think and act now – and will do in future – has been driven in large part by the fact that they experienced a Recession very early in their lives. Their elder siblings grew up in an age of possibility – a time of young Dotcom billionaires, overnight celebrities and free media and entertainment – so typically have a strong sense of entitlement: an expectation of being able to get something for nothing, or almost nothing. But today’s teens are very different. Experiencing a Recession so young, they’ve typically spent more time hearing “no” than “yes”: and their expectations for the future are much more down-to-earth. As a result, they have a more realistic, do-it-yourself mindset and a greater sense of ‘duty’.

“I think it’s time for researchers, marketers and media to drop ‘Generation Z’ and embrace the ‘Recession Generation’. After all, the attitudes and behaviours they learnt during the financial crisis are going to drive our financial future.”