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Episode 1: Gen Z, what do we really know about them?

Release date


Interviewer / Interviewee

Jim Gillingham / Chloe Combi

Welcome to Sound Thinking – the podcast that talks to some of the UK’s most fascinating thinkers and doers who challenge us about the way we think, communicate and behave.

Forget millennials – how should brands be engaging with the emerging Generation Z and what do we really know about them?

What are the secrets to designing a marketing strategy that will resonate?

“The most aspirational job for a 14-year-old is to be a YouTuber, Instagram or Snapchat star”, says Chloe Combi, writer, speaker and consultant. “Gen Z will film, photograph and doctor every part of their lives. Everything is thought through the lens of ‘How will this look online?’. Every single kid sees themselves as a potential brand.”

“The discussion is vibrant in schools and colleges – that we can never, ever let older people make the decisions for our future for us. Apathy is a thing of the past.”

“Gen Z have more faith in Apple, Google and the big Silicon Valley brands than they do in political parties. If you ask any kid: ‘Who is more influential Google or The Labour Party?’, I can promise you they will choose Google.”

Chloe Combi’s book Generation Z: Their Voices, Their Lives – an enlightening, sometimes shocking, account of being young in modern Britain – has received widespread critical acclaim. Chloe has become a regular speaker on TV and radio on a wide range of issues including youth culture, sex, social media, pop culture in the 21st century, brand relationships, beauty and self-esteem. She has consulted for a range of brands including Pepsi, Google, Virgin Media, Boots, Sainsbury’s and Lynx.

In this episode:

  • How we define Generation Z and the values that are important to them
  • How this generation is pushing for positive social change, unlike the cool apathy that tends to define millennials
  • The age of anxiety and the generation of stay-at-home socialisers. Why, barring access to technology, Gen Z have a lot in common with 1950s teenagers
  • Social media is the most influential thing in Gen Z’s life – they are a technological generation
  • How to market to Gen Z and a particularly brilliant Snapchat filter
  • The kind of brands that resonate with Gen Z in this age of uncertainty
  • Three things marketers need to bear in mind when selling to Gen Z

Check out Chloe at her website Her book, Generation Z: Their Voices, Their Lives, is out now.

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