FleishmanHillard Unveils ‘The Youth Kaleidoscope’ Report Exploring the Motivations of the Next Generation
The New Report Examines the Next Generation by Working with Gen Z Content Creators to Explore How They Are Navigating an Ever-Polarizing World
To date, much of the research surrounding Gen Z and Gen Alpha presents a fairly one-dimensional view. Both groups are often portrayed as ‘freedom fighters’ rebelling against systems and structures they have inherited. But much of this sentiment inadvertently puts pressure on these young people to conform and doesn’t look to their individual and nuanced characteristics. It presumes young people to be a uniform monolith instead of a generation pulsating with ideas and passions for their futures.
“The defining traits of this generation will continue to evolve as they begin to adjust to the world around them, from the world of work, to entering the housing market or even just experiencing their first true heartbreak,” said Candace Peterson, global head of Brand at FleishmanHillard. “Young people are ultimately seeking out balance in their endeavour to rationalize the all-too-often chaotic world around them. Responding to this balance by broadening how we look at and define this generation will be of the utmost importance in building rapport and engaging with this generation.”
The report uncovers how these “digital natives” have grown up in a different landscape than previous generations – more intersectional, with an abundance of technology and social platforms, connections and information; they are the epitome of the cross-culture kid and are widely considered as having greater cultural intelligence, or CQ, than their predecessors. They have different ideals, expectations and approaches to identity than other cohorts, and internal and external stressors significantly affect how they view the world.
Broken down across Mind, Meta and Why it Matters, the report gives first-hand insights to help understand and authentically engage with this generation as they continue to be shaped by, and are themselves shaping, the world around them.
The Youth Kaleidoscope Report was produced in conjunction with an assortment of talented, perceptive and pioneering young thought leaders from around the world who are using social media to connect with their peers. FleishmanHillard teamed up with youth influencer specialists, Youth Marketing Connection, to identify the next wave of expert social media talent across the U.S. and UK who helped address key themes and topics throughout the report, speaking directly to their audiences to discover their thoughts and feelings. The project also continues the agency’s partnership with specialist talent agency Zebedee
, to increase the representation of people with disabilities, alternative appearances and trans/non-binary in the media.
Partners include the likes of Ellie Goldstein, a model with Down Syndrome who helped create Kami, the first digital avatar with Down Syndrome; Heather Moradeyo, an advocate for mental health who has used TikTok to create a supportive community for people with schizophrenia to share their stories; and Nemesis Lacroix, a transgender drag artist and full-time gamer who is passionate about challenging stereotypes of gamers and making the LGBTQ+ community visible in online spaces. By collaborating with this young cohort, The Youth Kaleidoscope Report offers an unfiltered and expert view of what brands and organizations need to do to win with them.
“The next generation are breaking traditional boundaries, and I’ve loved being able to do this within the modelling world,” Goldstein said. “It’s incredible hearing people say that I’ve inspired them, but we still have a lot to do to show true representation – this is just the start!”
Monique Jones, who shares finance and investing advice through @myfinancescrapbook on TikTok, added, “We are breaking down barriers, banishing binaries and saying a resounding ‘No!’ to the same old generational BS. I spoke to my audience about the rising financial anxiety, and the pressures to save and spend when all we are being told is doom and gloom. Social media allows me to socialize, play, collaborate and create like no generation before us, and I love being able to share advice that’s targeted to my followers, where we can interact in real-time and express ourselves in completely new ways.”