The Most Disruptive Gen Z Trends

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The most disruptive Gen Z trends are on marketer’s minds. And while they aren’t Gen Zers themselves, Brooke Sellas and Mark Schaefer rolled up their sleeves to unpack what makes this particular generation tick (or, TikTok, as they do!).

A recent study put out by JUV Consulting lists their finds for the top 20 trends and sparked Brooke and Mark’s interests. It’s both fascinating and a way to reminisce about how things progressed (or stood still) during the last year.

This week’s Marketing Companion podcast is full of insight into the past year of Gen Z amongst a pandemic, and what that may mean for the future.

Gen Z Feels Familiar

Some of the Gen Z trends feel familiar and that’s because Brooke feels they are similar to Gen X. One particular trend that she took note of revolved around TikTok Hype Houses.

If you don’t already know, hype houses are collaboration houses that serve as homes and workspaces for top TikTok creators. It does have that “find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real” vibe to it, don’t you think?

[Image: The Real World New York]

We did a recent blog regarding Social Media’s Shiny New Tools, and TikTok was definitely the most fun tool. With so many people flocking to it, there are endless amounts of content to consume. But, in the end, are TikTokers influencers or entertainers?

The Year of The Tiger King

Ask yourself this question – had you not been under stay-at-home orders, would you still have watched the entire Tiger King documentary? And not just Tiger King, but any streaming series that’s different than your usual tastes. A whopping 79% of Gen Zers claim to have watched shows they never would have watched had it not been for quarantine.

But what happens when we’re released back into the wild (post-COVID) world? We could very well go in the opposite direction regarding the content we consume. Or, it could have become a habit over the last year, keeping it at the forefront of our lives.

Pinterest For The Younger Generation

Did you ever think you’d see the day when Gen Zers would embrace Pinterest? Anyone older than Gen Z has appreciated Pinterest for its easily accessible design images, recipes, workout routines, and outfit inspo.

But over the last year, Gen Z has taken to Pinterest in a form of escapism and comfort. And this comfort comes from the world of cottagecore. This topic is not a new one for Brooke and Mark, who did their own cottagecore competition here.


Podcasts are like a great book. You can get lost in the story, but with the ease of doing other tasks like driving, walking, or even cleaning your house. It’s a win-win!

In 2020, Gen Zers took to podcasts as well. Just like streaming a docu-series, there are some great podcasts you can stream where the storytelling is so good, you’ll binge-listen as the story unravels.

Whether it’s for comedy, true crime, or business, podcasts are a trend that’s picking up steam even as 2021 continues.

[Source: Nielsen]

It All Comes Back To TikTok

There’s one common denominator throughout these Gen Z trends, and that’s TikTok. More and more, it’s growing with popularity and reach. This platform found its audience in digital-savvy Gen Zers, and brands have taken note (ie: Ocean Spray).

Not only did Ocean Spray jump on this viral TikTok, but so did Mick Fleetwood – recreating his own version of the viral video. And his caption credits both the TikTok user as well as Ocean Spray, citing, “@420doggface208 had it right. Dreams and Cranberry just hits different”.

TikTok is a gamechanger because the more users spend on the app, the more hyper-aware their algorithm is in finding content suited to the individual. You don’t need to have millions of followers to go viral, sometimes, it just hits right.

Listen And Learn

There are so many more disruptive Gen Z trends on this list, this is just the tip of the iceberg. But the trends that Brooke and Mark discuss on this episode of the Marketing Companion podcast were the trends that stood out to them most.

If you haven’t already, hop on over to listen to The Most Disruptive Gen Z Trends. You may be surprised at some of the others that made the list!

What Gen Z trend of 2020 do you find the most fascinating? Share with us in the comments below!

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Category: Marketing Companion podcast
Tags: GenZ, Pinterest, podcast, TikTok, trends
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