A Global Force Shaping the Future
Generation Z, also known as post-Millennials, the iGeneration, or Zoomers, comprises the largest generational cohort worldwide. With our sheer numbers, we make up a remarkable one-third of the global population. Furthermore, by 2025, Zoomers are projected to constitute a significant quarter of Asia Pacific’s population, solidifying our influence and impact. And Asian Zoomers, the unstoppable force are redefining the landscape of Generation Z in this region.
Financial Empowerment: Redefining the Rules of Money
One of the defining characteristics of Generation Z is our rapidly growing disposable income. Over the next decade, experts anticipate that our rapidly growing disposable income will reach a staggering US$33 trillion. We are a crucial audience for brands seeking to engage with our discerning tastes and aspirations.
Unleashing Financial Literacy at a Young Age
Growing up in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and amidst the COVID-19 recession, Generation Z exhibits an extraordinary level of financial literacy from an early age. According to Human8, 50% of Zoomers follow “fin-fluencers” for financial advice. In Asia, our openness to exploring new investment products is evident, with digital currencies accounting for 20% of our investment portfolios.
The Rise of the Side Hustle
Entrepreneurship also runs in our Zoomer veins, as 53% of Asian Gen Z individuals pursue side hustles, with almost half of us working full-time. Our generation seamlessly integrates social media platforms like TikTok and Douyin, leveraging algorithms to transform our social presence into thriving businesses. A remarkable 61% of us aspire to launch our ventures, eager to leave an indelible mark on the business landscape.
Investing in the Future: From Traditional to Digital
Generation Z is astute when it comes to investing. Despite our disposable income not yet reaching the heights of older generations, we are keen to invest wisely. In the past year alone, a remarkable 74% of us have allocated funds to investments. While traditional investment products like stocks and education funds hold a significant share in our portfolios, we are also leading the way in investing in art (11%), exclusive luxury fashion (11%), crypto/digital currencies (20%), and NFTs (10%). Notably, 35% of us believe that NFTs will increasingly replace physical artwork, and a staggering 51% would prefer to be paid or receive an allowance in cryptocurrencies.
Prioritizing Mental Well-being: Breaking Taboos
Generation Z faces unique challenges that take a toll on our mental health. With 48% of us feeling stressed, we are the most stressed-out generation in Asia. Our main stressors revolve around our jobs or studies (52%), financial concerns (50%), and our mental well-being (44%). However, Asian Zoomers refuse to suffer in silence and are dedicated to destigmatizing mental health by openly discussing our struggles. Social media platforms play a significant role in our lives, with 33% of us feeling pressured by comparisons and 22% burdened by external expectations. This has led to a “confidence crisis,” with almost half of us acknowledging a lack of self-assurance.
Brands as Mental Health Allies
Our focus on mental well-being also presents an opportunity for brands to step up and become life coaches, supporting us in prioritizing our mental health and encouraging conversations around this crucial topic. Start-ups like Intellect, a Singapore-based digital platform for mental wellness, are making a meaningful impact by connecting us to therapists online. In the beauty industry, BYS (Be Yourself) Philippines has launched a dedicated digital platform called “break your stigma” to normalize mental health conversations, paralleling our skincare discussions.
Bridging the Digital and Physical Realms: Generation Z in the Metaverse
Generation Z in Asia is a generation of digital natives at the forefront of embracing and shaping the metaverse. An astounding 88% of us have already engaged in metaverse activities, seeking seamless integration between the online and offline worlds.
The Pandemic’s Influence on Our Digital Lives
The pandemic has further propelled our presence online, providing us with a means to stay connected with the world and escape our everyday reality. We find solace in the virtual realm, with 55% of us believing that in this space, everyone is equal. Additionally, 47% of us consider hanging out with friends online just as fulfilling as meeting them in person. Our virtual activities include online gaming (52%), creating avatars in games/virtual spaces (21%), connecting with friends using avatars (20%), and attending virtual concerts or events (12%).
Platforms and Spaces: Our Digital Playground
Instagram/Xiaohongshu, Weibo TikTok/Douyin, and YouTube/BiliBili are our go-to platforms. YouTube/BiliBili offers us entertainment and tutorials, while TikTok provides a creative outlet for memes and viral content. Furthermore, Asian Zoomers utilize Instagram and TikTok for digital activism, strategically employing platforms like TikTok to protest controversial amendments to labour laws. We also explore the metaverse through platforms like Fortnite, Axie Infinity, Zepeto, Soul, Enjin, and GuidlFi. Hanging out with friends in virtual worlds, creating avatars, and investing in virtual outfits are second nature to us. We firmly believe that no generation will embrace and shape the metaverse more than Generation Z, and we expect brands to be part of this transformative space.
Building a Sustainable Future: Generation Z’s Call to Action
Generation Z is not only committed to our mission to create a better future but also carries a strong focus on socioeconomic and environmental issues. We also expect brands to share our values and actively pursue social and environmental causes. Superficial, one-off actions will not suffice; we demand ongoing commitment and measurable impact.
Paying More for Purpose
Our passion for justice drives us to support brands that champion social and environmental causes. An impressive 75% of Asian Gen Z individuals are willing to pay a premium for brands that actively strive to have a positive impact on society. At the same time, Asian Zoomers appreciate personalized and playful experiences, with 62% of us considering the ability to personalize and co-create products, services, or brands as essential. Additionally, 59% of us are willing to invest more in brands that exhibit a sense of humour and playfulness.
Brands as Educators and Allies
Generation Z not only expects brands to take a stand on societal issues but also to educate us on how to support minority groups and communities. We believe that brands have the power to guide and inspire us, especially during challenging times. As a generation, we have a tremendous need for guidance, and brands that effectively fulfil this role will thrive in our eyes.
Shaping the Future and Redefining Success
Generation Z, the powerful force shaping the world, demands attention. As the largest generational cohort globally, and soon to be a quarter of Asia Pacific’s population, our influence and impact cannot be ignored. We are financially empowered, socially conscious, and unafraid to tackle taboo subjects. With a strong presence in the metaverse and a passion for building a sustainable future, we represent the future of business, activism, and societal progress. Brands that understand and embrace our values, aspirations, and digital fluency will thrive in this new era. It’s time to recognize and unlock the potential of the Asian Zoomers.