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Gen Z: The Hardest Demo to Please?

Stockhouse Editorial
1 Comment| January 27, 2022

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Are kids hard to please, or do they just have high standards?

A new study released on Thursday reported that the youngest generation of consumers, “Generation Z”, are the most likely to be upset by a recent interaction with a company or organization and are the least likely to recommend a brand.

This is according to new research from Qualtrics XM Institute (NASDAQ: XM, Forum), who asked 9,000 consumers to rate how they felt after a recent interaction with a brand or organization (on a scale of upset to delighted). Across all age groups, Gen Z adults (ages 18-24) gave the lowest scores to every industry in the analysis.

However, that generation’s grandparents (Baby Boomers ages 65+) were the most likely – of all generations – to feel delighted by their interactions with companies.

Head of Qualtrics XM Institute, Bruce Temkin said in a media release on this news that Gen Z has a high bar for speed and gratification, and right now it’s clear that most companies aren’t reaching it.

“These savvy consumers are accustomed to instant service, and they will hold companies accountable for their values and service quality, even amid a global pandemic. To win in 2022, organizations need to better understand and cater to the needs of these younger consumers, even as those needs shift during different stages of the pandemic.”

Industries that Make Gen Z Feel the Most Upset
Ranking Industry % of Gen Z Consumers Who Gave Positive Emotion Ratings* (ages 18-24) % of Baby Boomers Who Gave Positive Emotion Ratings (ages 65+) % of Consumers Who Gave Positive Emotion Ratings (all age groups)
#1 Federal Agencies 13% 36% 33%
#2 Investment Firms 14% 72% 54%
#3 Airlines 16% 61% 40%
#4 Car Rentals 19% 51% 39%
#5 Utilities 20% 63% 47%

Industries that Make Gen Z Feel the Most Delighted
Ranking Industry % of Gen Z Consumers Who Gave Positive Emotion Ratings* (ages 18-24) % of Baby Boomers Who Gave Positive Emotion Ratings (ages 65+) % of Consumers Who Gave Positive Emotion Ratings (all age groups)
#1 Social Media 55% 58% 56%
#2 Retail 47% 69% 60%
#3 Fast Food 45% 64% 59%
#4 Grocery 44% 72% 61%
#5 Streaming Media 44% 69% 59%

*Emotion ratings are determined by the percent of people who give a positive score of a "6" or “7,” minus the percent of people who give a negative score of “1” or “2” or “3” on a 7-point scale from upset to delighted.

Gen Z is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials, and is much larger, it includes those born from the mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2010s.

Do you agree that most companies aren’t reaching out to younger generations well enough to enhance their business fully? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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