I call them generation ZQ as referred to in this post. In ten years they will be 20-24 years. Yet we have a lot to learn from them today. If everything goes according to my projection, this generation will dramatically change the way brands connect with people and vice versa.
It’s similar to the creative revolution in the 50s-70s mentioned in Truth Lies & Advertising (I promise I don’t have a jon steel shrine, but I do respect his views). Rather than speaking at people, ads sparked conversations:
Things have evolved since then. Today people use social media to engage & interact with brands. Some examples are: Virgin Atlantic fanpage & Best Buy twelpforce. With this new development, however, people now have the power to make or break a brand.
I really think generation ZQ (if I say it enough times maybe it’ll catch on ;) will want more than conversations and funky widgets that allow for interaction. They will appreciate brands that genuinely care. Looking at the bigger picture (which is always a smart thing to do) Corporate Social Responsibility should not be taken lightly. I think ZQ will continue off in the style of Obama’s election. Using social media (and whatever develops along the way) to enact change, to speak up and perhaps become brand ambassadors. Maybe I’m being hopeful but my thought is that they will be less apathetic towards current issues: environment, health concern, education etc and as a result they will be more demanding, asking for accountability from marketers & manufacturers.
Picture this, open dialogue between consumers, agencies, and marketers. Where consumers will speak to client/agency personnel on ways they can not only improve the brand but help the community. Maybe it’s happening already, in which case I’ll change my projections to:
It’ll go back to the days of
“BUY THIS SOAP, BECAUSE IT IS GOOD”
Think about it, if brands are willing to understand the changing/emerging consumer today, they will be future market leaders tomorrow.