Can you remember a time without high-speed internet and smartphones? As a millennial, I grew up with dial-up internet and got my first flip phone in high school. But now, there’s a new generation that’s more tech-savvy than ever before. This generation has never known a world without the internet. They grew up using smartphones and technology for everything.
Meet Generation Z.
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Who Makes up Generation Z?
Generation Z is born between the mid-1990’s and mid-2,000’s. This puts the oldest Gen Zers in college and soon entering the workforce. With 48% of Gen Zers identifying as non-white, it’s the most racially diverse generation in America, per the U.S. Census Bureau.
So what makes this generation different from Millennials? Gen Zers have several characteristics that make them a truly unique and digital generation.
What Are Their Defining Characteristics?
Digital Natives. Gen Zers grew up with technology, and many aren’t shy to admit they’re addicted to it. 40% of Gen Zers are self-identified digital device addicts, per The Huffington Post.
Multi-taskers. They’re the best yet at multi-tasking, however, their attention spans are shorter. 18-year-old U.C.L.A. student Hannah Payne told the New York Times that she “can almost simultaneously create a document, edit it, post a photo to Instagram and talk on the phone, all from the user-friendly interface of [an] iPhone.”
Want Financial Security. Many Gen Zers saw their Gen Xer parents struggle during the Great Recession, so they care about financial security. Many will choose alternative methods for getting a higher education to save money and avoid debt. Many also are interested in starting their own businesses. Per Huffington Post, 72% of teenagers want to start a business someday.
More Private. Even though they love technology, they fear social media is too public. Per Business Insider, about 60% of Gen Zers think it’s too public and their posts could come back to hurt them. That’s why most Gen Zers prefer Snapchat over Facebook. Snapchat has more privacy settings that allow them to control who sees their content. Plus, their snaps disappear after a few seconds and their stories disappear after 24 hours.
How Will They Impact the Funeral Business?
When it comes to funeral planning, Gen Zers will bring more technology, more personalization, and higher expectations. They expect you to use the latest technology and want their funeral experience to express individuality and uniqueness. Meeting their expectations won’t be enough. They expect you to go above and beyond. They also care about value for the price they’re paying.
Their shorter attention spans mean you’ll need to grab their attention quickly in your marketing strategies. This means being more concise and making your point sooner. They also prefer face-to-face communication to emailing or texting.
When working with Gen Zers, keep in mind they’re independent workers. Although they’ll come to you for guidance, they prefer to work on projects on their own. For example, you can provide suggestions for personalizing a funeral, but they want to be in control of planning it.
How Can Your Funeral Home Plan Ahead?
Whether we’re prepared for them or not, Generation Z will leave their mark on the world. So how can your funeral home prepare for the future? You can start by finding ways to adapt to modern technology, create personalized funerals, and exceed families’ expectations.
Check out these free eBooks for some ideas:
The Modern Funeral Director: New technology and ideas about how to approach death are spreading faster than ever. As a funeral director, it’s important to understand how to embrace change, while still maintaining important traditions.
How to Create a Personalized Funeral Service: This eBook explains how to understand your client families’ wants and needs when it comes to funerals. By putting those desires into action, you create a personalized service that truly memorializes the deceased and reflects their individuality.
How to Go the Extra Mile for Your Families: This eBook discusses ways your funeral home can exceed your families’ funeral expectations through various programs, resources, and kind gestures.