State of Gen Z 2024
We surveyed our Gen Z community to find out what's trending in 2024 and how brands can best connect with Gen Z.
January 30, 2024
10 MINUTE READ
Gen Z, known as the first “digital native” generation, is growing into one of the most powerful consumer groups as they enter the workforce. To better understand how this rapidly growing market segment will impact brands, we surveyed our community of Gen Zers to get their thoughts on the State of Gen Z.
Gen Z and the Workplace
As many Gen Zers undertake the job hunt for their first full-time job, many are prioritizing work-life balance when choosing where to work. 55.6% of respondents reported that they’d ideally like to work 40 hours a week in their first full-time job, with another 17.2% reporting that they see themselves working 40-50 hours a week.
"I feel like our generation is very in tune with ourselves and knows whats working and what isn't before others might. Entering the job market in this day and age is very scary since we hear so many stories on social media about how hard it is to find a job and how competitive it is which sometimes makes me feel a bit discouraged but also makes me want to work 10x harder to find a job." - University of Deleware, 22
Gen Zers are also interested in working for a company that offers a hybrid environment, giving them the flexibility to work from home while also interacting and building relationships with their coworkers in the office. 67.7% of respondents reported that “hybrid” is their ideal workplace set-up, with the rest evenly split between preferring fully remote and fully in-person.
With inflation, a high cost of living, and many layoffs over the past couple of years, Gen Zers are looking for multiple sources of income. 70.7% of respondents reported that they plan to have a side hustle while working their first full-time job. Platforms like Home From College are helping students and young professionals find gig work to supplement their income and gain professional experience.
Gen Z and Social Media
TikTok is by far the most popular social media platform for Gen Z, with 70% of respondents reporting that they spend the most time on it. The most popular content areas that they engage with are lifestyle (62.7%), followed by beauty (13.4%) and humor (11.8%).
As such, Gen Z’s favorite brands often fall within these content areas. Some brands our community thought were killing it on social media included Duolingo, Elf, and Poppi. They blend humor, trending audio, and UGC to engage viewers continuously and subtly integrate their products rather than making their content ad-like.
TikTok has significantly influenced Gen Z’s purchases, with 80% of Gen Zers surveyed reporting that they’ve bought something they first saw on TikTok. On TikTok, they are most likely to trust the recommendation of friends (31%) and macro influencers (31%), followed closely by nano influencers (21%). Brands should work with smaller creators with more niche, loyal audiences that are more likely to trust their recommendations.
“I think brands should strive to partner with smaller (nano) influencer over macro influencers. I think bigger platforms can sometimes come across as less genuine than smaller accounts! Smaller accounts definitely feel like talking to your best friend!” - Miami University, 21
Interestingly, though Gen Zers are making purchases based on what they’re seeing on TikTok they are still very distrustful of TikTok Shop with 34% of respondents reporting that they “think it’s a scam” and another 23% “undecided”.
Gen Z’s Favorite Brands
When we asked respondents to name their three favorite brands in the fashion, beauty/skincare, and food & beverage space, some interesting trends emerged.
Gen Z’s favorite fashion companies are dominated by big brands like H&M, Aritzia, Zara, and Lululemon. The smallest fashion company loved by Gen Z was Skims, suggesting that influencer/celebrity-led companies are well-received by Gen Z.
In the skincare and beauty space, Gen Z’s favorite brands vary from large brands like Cerave to rising startups such as The Ordinary and Summer Fridays. Celebrity-owned brands like Rare Beauty and Fenty Beauty were frequently mentioned by Gen Zers, showing the influence of these believed figures on Gen Z's preferences.
Looking at Gen Z’s favorite food and beverage brands, there’s a wide mix, ranging from emerging companies that have blown up on TikTok, like Poppi and Chobani, to classics like Coca-Cola and McDonalds. This suggests that Gen Zers have varying tastes in food and beverage companies, though there is a rise in healthier fast food options through the popularity of Cava and Chipotle.
Gen Z's Shopping and Spending Habits
When it comes to shopping, Gen Z is rather evenly split on whether they prefer to shop online (53.9%) or in-store (46.1%). Gen Zers still enjoy the physical experience of browsing for items and trying on clothes while recognizing the convenience and ease of ordering from home. How Gen Z pays for their purchases widely varies, with 46% preferring to use debit cards followed by 35% preferring to use credit cards.
As Gen Zers, are just beginning to enter the workforce and with the rise of financial literacy, this generation tries to make smart decisions regarding their money and spending. 62% classify themselves as a careful spender rather than an impulse shopper, and 57% say they prioritize getting the best deal over brand loyalty. In addition, 60% of respondents report that they keep a monthly budget, and 75% say that they save a portion of their income to invest and save for retirement.
Gen Z’s 2024 Predictions
As we approach 2024, Gen Z will continue growing as one of the most powerful demographics for brands. To help you stay ahead of this year's trends, we asked our community to predict what’s in and what’s out. Check it out on TikTok and Instagram .