The (fr)agile reality of the next generations

quote They grow up really fast

While the clicking and whooshing sound of a modem connecting to the internet feels like a nostalgic tune for older generations, the next generations do not know a world without googling things. It’s a generation whose online social presence surpasses their offline identity, and the act of lifecasting or live broadcasting (with or without a playful Snapchat filter) is part of their daily routine. Smartphones, their core device, function as their arm’s extension, allowing them to be always on, always connected, making PCs, music players and even wallets obsolete.

These youngsters – both Generation Z and their young Millennial counterparts – grew up in a world where information reaches them at a blink of an eye, where they instantly get notified if something happens, good or bad, far or near.

Through this boundless connectedness, they have seen a fragile image of the world as well as the consequences of natural disasters, poverty, global health problems and the war on terror. And this distorted perfect picture is also present inside the home, as they are the offspring of the divorce generation. They have experienced the rise of the family 2.0, where single-parent, multi-generational, newly-composed and same-sex households are shaping the new home. More and more Millennials are having (involuntary) childless lives because of fractured relationships or delayed settling. This phenomenon is expected to hit the next generations even more, with forms of Otherhood® (coined by Melanie Notkin @SavvyAuntie)… emerging to fill the gap of delayed or non-motherhood.

Quote They are a youth culture

Although today’s youth are growing up in an agile world with boundless (technological) possibilities, the level of fragility is high because of the unstable environment surrounding them. While their older (Millennial) counterparts grew up with an ‘Is the world ready for you’ mindset, these youngsters grew up with the cautious motto ‘Are you ready for the world’, with a realistic take on what they (can) expect from life, their future career, and even relationships. And even though the overall quality of life increases every year, they are expected to be the first generation that is worse off than their parents, with only 29% saying not to be worried about their future.

Quote Kids play a very important role

With the youngest of them now at the age of seven, the next generations will definitely shape the future of the world as well as that of brands. Not only will they be the key consumer group for years to come, today, in the current ‘flatage’ society, they already have a major influence on what is purchased within the household, from food to holiday destinations.

Would you like to read more about next generations, how the fragile world impacts their take on life and how they deal with brands? Have a look at our new bookzine frAGILE: Is NextGen marketing more chemistry than science  (based on dozens of international expert interviews with senior marketing executives at renowned brands such as PepsiCo, LEGO, Freitag, LEVI’s, Beiersdorf, Audible, MasterCard, AB InBev, eBay, IKEA, Tommy Hilfiger…). Or replay the full webinar.

fr*AGILE: Is NextGen marketing more chemistry than science?

frAGILE: Is NextGen marketing more chemistry than science?

How to keep up with rapidly changing society. How are brands coping in this fragile environment? How are you adapting to cater to this evolving market? This bookzine shares insights on brands that bond beyond disruption, based on dozens of interviews with senior marketing execs of renowned brands.

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