Gen Z: the financially savvy generation has landed.

Gen Z: the financially savvy generation has landed. cover

“So, how do I engage my financial brand, products and services with Gen Z?”

It’s a question I was recently asked by a client. And I understand why it’s a matter of concern for brand and marketing managers.

So, we did some research.

We asked 500 members of the Gen Z generation in the UK what they thought about money.

Do they just spend, spend, spend, or did they save?

Who do they trust?

What do they know about money?

Gen Z—defined as being born from the mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2010’s – is emerging as the world’s largest and most diverse generation, born into a world of seismic social change.

For these digital natives, “on-demand” is not a buzzword, it’s a mode of existence.

The oldest are now out there in the workplace, earning salaries and forming firm choices about what brands they want to engage with – and not.

What do we know about their relationship with money and attitudes towards their financial futures?

Financially speaking, Gen Z are a more conservative generation of young consumers. Less likely to believe the hype.

Consider for example bitcoin et al.

As a digitally native generation, Gen Z understand technology better than anyone. But they aren’t fooled.

When we asked them about the brands, institutions and organisations that they’d listen to when it came to money matters, cryptocurrencies lagged at the back with just 3% of respondents saying they would turn to them.

Challenging times for Gen Z, opportunities for brands

Much has been written about this generation and the hopeless picture they face: the cost-of-living crisis; the pension black holes; the property ladder…

The average house price throughout the 1970s sat at just £9,277, the equivalent of £68,493 today after adjusting for inflation. The average house price today is four times higher!

Young people could be forgiven for thinking, “What’s the point?!” and spending all that cash.

But our preliminary research is bringing that thinking into question, they’re much more conservative than the media and politicians paint them to be.

It was millionaire property developer Tim Gurner who questioned whether millennials and Gen Z would ever buy a home if they continued to keep spending $40 a day on smashed avocado and lattes. And he’s not the only one to attack this generation without any real foundation to do so.

Gen Z, far from being profligate with cash, may be much more focused on saving than we previously thought.

For brands, this offers a huge opportunity – and a potential headache.

There are two connected questions that need answering:

❓ how do brands respond to the demands and needs of this complex generation?

and by extension

❓ how do you develop a true, non-assumptive picture of what they think, feel and do, now and in the future?

We have an incredible opportunity to build a lasting and trustworthy relationship with an entire generation.

But that relationship has to be built on honesty.

Remember, this is also the generation that won’t hesitite in punishing a brand if it fails to be responsible.

One in five Gen Z have boycotted a brand. They’re not afraid to use their power as consumers to influence social change through the brands they choose to buy and the brands they consciously refuse to buy.


Follow the data

Gen Z: the financially savvy generation

For brand and marketing managers, it’s all too easy to see a generation through their owned lived experience.

When I was growing up, home ownership was not an issue; the number of financial products, services and instruments was far smaller in number.

If anything, I was buying lattes and smashed avocado. It’s dangerous to apply a cognitive bias to your view of future generations.

In these cases it is essential to be led by the data.

At The Team, we’re on a mission to find out what really makes this generation tick, and we’ve started with their finances.

✅ 43% of respondents say that their knowledge of financial products and services needs to be better. But theyre not wasting their money.

✅ 81% of those surveyed save regularly. And of those, 73% have a savings goal. (Not only do they have their heads screwed on, but they also know what they want to do with their savings pots.)

✅ 82% think that a savings account or ISA is the best home for their hard-earned money. (Dispelling the myth that its all about bitcoin…)



We’ll continue to build on these results over the next few weeks, we want to dig into some of the motivations and detail behind the answers.

If you’d like to talk to us about the results, then drop us a line.

In the meantime, if you’re as curious about Gen Z as we are, you can sign up for our upcoming With The Team event with Gen Z expert, Chloe Combi.

Chloe is a trusted global authority on the mindset of Gen Z and Gen A, and her talk promises to be enlightening, and potentially surprising!

  Sign up to hear Chloe Combi talk Gen Z!