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Why labels like millennial and Gen Z are too broad

"People will not accept being stereotyped of pigeonholed anymore."

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Confident African American gen z hipster female student with Afro hair looking at camera standing indoors, at home, in modern creative office. Mixed race young woman close up headshot portrait.
(Ground Picture via Shutterstock)

By Rob Knight via 72Point

Labels such as millennial and Gen Z are ‘unhelpful’ and often carry ‘inaccurate’ connotations, according to a new study.

Research of 2,000 adults found labels such as these are unacceptable for 42 percent - because they're too broad and don't reflect a person's individuality.

Three quarters (76 percent) said their tastes change every few months, with 51 percent claiming to be completely different people now to who they were pre-pandemic.

And it’s especially frustrating, to those polled when brands make assumptions about customers purely because of their age - rather than their unique likes.


Commissioned by Adobe, the research found 50 percent expect businesses to only contact them with information relevant to their current interests.

But 68 percent think brands are hit and miss in this respect.

This might highlight the need for companies to adopt technologies that help them engage with consumers based on their up-to-date interests, such as customer data platforms.

Monday morning again. Dissatisfied freelancer works at home. having sleep deprivation, lazy millennial guy distracted from work feel lazy lack motivation, thinking of dull monotonous job
Bored of the same old stereotypes? (Maples Images via Shutterstock)

Professor Bobby Duffy, professor of public policy at Kings College London, teamed up with Adobe to provide their insights on the findings.

He said: “This study shows that generational labels are next to useless as a basis for delivering the targeted services or products that today’s consumer expects.

“We may enjoy similar cultural references to people who grew up at the same time as us. But fundamentally people increasingly expect everyone - whether it’s their peers, policymakers or brands they interact with - to recognize, understand, and respond to their individual behavior and preferences in the moment.”

Of those polled, just 11 percent said brands are successfully keeping up with their personal preferences - and communicating with them in relation to specific likes and interests.

The study carried out through OnePoll found tailored communications, like notifications on products they've expressed an interest in, are the type of correspondence they're happiest to receive (44 percent).


In contrast, 21 percent are content to receive 'one-off' communications sent to all customers like VIP experience invites or information about sales - such as Black Friday discounts (21 percent).

Suzanne Steele from Adobe added: “The entire socio-cultural landscape is changing. And people will not accept being stereotyped of pigeonholed anymore – especially by brands.

“Having the right data platform is critical to ensure brands really understand their customers.”

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