Generations X, Y, Z & WE – and the Drive to Dig Deeper

I spent some time recording a few thoughts on developments in audience insight, or, as I like to refer to them as, Human Truths, this week for The Holmes Report.

It’s one of the things I’ll be talking about at the In2 Innovation Summit in London on 19th May.

And it’s an area that has seen tremendous leaps forward in the past couple of years, and one that I’ve become deeply engaged in over the course of several big client assignments where we’re seeing the value that this depth of insight now plays in marketing and communications planning.


Throughout the conversation about our work in this area through our IP, The Human Project, we touched on the challenges facing brands as they work to better understand and connect with millennials, for example, and the need and the capability to treat audiences as people rather than just targets. Above all, we discussed the need to gain a much deeper appreciation of personal values, and why people do what they do and think the way they do.

The internet has been a driver of much of this change, of course, with so much more data now available. Interpreting all of it, however, is a challenge.

The conversation also covered the rising prominence of Generation WE – our ‘tech-intuitive’ kids who have grown up in a media environment unimaginable just a few short years ago – and the challenges of better understanding them, as well as how the picture differs across generations.

Since Zeno launched The Human Project a few months back, the level of interest from clients, and the questions we’ve had about how to better tune in to people’s values and how they really behave, has continued to increase. It’s a genie out of the bottle thing, with marketers wanting to know more because they understand that the brands that do are the ones people really want.

The cultural and societal landscape is changing dramatically and it is getting more challenging to differentiate ourselves as people and as brands.  Brands are like bright spots for people who are looking for deeper connections and experiences.  This is an opportunity for those brands who are willing to go deeper – to get to know the people who will ultimately be their most passionate evangelists. We covered this in the podcast, among other things, so listen in here for more.