August 12, 2023

What do Gen Z and Seniors have in common?

“You look like a grandfather,” I tell my 18-year-old nephew. I, someone twice his age, find many of his behaviors a bit conservative. Is it just my nephew?

It is said that the audiences that are growing the most on TikTok are Generation Z and seniors. At first glance it sounds strange to see the same behavior on both extremes, but taken calmly, there are several behavioral patterns that they share with each other, even more so than with Millennials or GenXs.

His way of approaching money.

Both generations grew up in the midst of major recessions. The “silent generation” in the context of the Great Depression and the GenZ in the crisis of the early 21st century. Both experienced economic difficulties at home since they were children. As a consequence, today they are more cautious than the rest. Despite their youth, GenZ are a generation that feels great confidence in saving (This studio says that 21% saved from the age of 10); Be careful, they do not necessarily prefer to invest; rather they look for models with little risk.

His way of facing the world

Already we had talked that GenZers are much more realistic than millennials; This is a trait they clearly share with boomers. Both have seen more social problems than they would like, which has made them more resilient and less cynical than any other generation. While the youngest saw their millennial siblings return to their parents' house after job disappointments, the seniors have been more in touch with lack than many others. They know that no one will come to save us, so the culture of effort is what remains.

They don't do it to prove

Authenticity is another trait that unites them. They perceive themselves as much more liberated from social scrutiny. The GenZ of TikTok seem to have much less care about what is aesthetically beautiful than their older millennial brothers on Instagram; Living comfortable in your own skin is the motto of centennials. For their part, retired seniors are beyond what anyone will say and live their lives with much more freedom since less eyes are on them. Many not only consume TikTok but also generate content and resist age stereotypes by joining the anti-aging trend and demonstrating that fragility is not what characterizes them and there is still a lot of life ahead of them.

They have not had a single/aspirational model to resemble:

The elderly have been able to be whoever they wanted and the young see that there are millions of possible and valid ways of being.

Their way of relating to brands.

The way GenZ choose brands sounds very similar to how a senior does: after a detailed cost-benefit analysis, with a lot of loyalty and a lot of focus on offers. The habits are different, of course, but how both targets manage to separate themselves from the emotional is striking. Only humor seems to surround and bond them (some because they already see that life is lighter and they want lightness, the younger ones as the best way to lighten it)

Social networks are your main window to the world

We leave what we believe is most revealing for last: both generations are the ones who need social networks the most. Because? One reason could be that the youngest and oldest have been the groups most affected by the pandemic. While seniors face the real threat of death face to face, GenZ are sent home, to lock themselves in, at the same time of life in which Millennials or GenX experienced life “outside.” While the seniors literally watched their lifelong friends die, the others had to graduate via zoom. For different reasons, their socialization was seriously affected and social networks turned out to be their true way of connecting with the outside world. Come on, more than “fun” it became an essential and necessary tool for survival.

They are all the ones who share the most information, jokes, memes, videos. They are also the most “unemployed” in terms of a formal job. On top of that, the children of seniors are very busy and the parents of GenZ are too; The valuable interactions of these two generations occur with their peers, and the true meeting points happen within digital platforms. Now, if the available time and leisure of both covers many more hours per day than in the case of GenXers or Millennials, where are the brands inserting themselves? How are they becoming a facilitator of coexistence? A “resolver” of the leisure, boredom or isolation of both generations? And finally we ask ourselves; If you have so much in common, what about proposing exercises where you both meet and share?