NEW YORK — Representing an estimated 39m Americans, a new consumer group dubbed GenZennials is the 'next generation of shoppers', believes Ketchum. 

In particular, Ketchum thinks that millennials born after 1992 and members of Gen Z born in 2000 have more in common with each other than with the upper and lower range of each respective group.  The firm has narrowed down its research to several elements that attempt to prove GenZennials' potential as a lucrative consumer group.

"Defying the boundaries of their conventional labels, the coming-of-age GenZennial is united by a number of important firsts, including learning to drive, getting a credit card, buying their first car, going to college, getting their first apartment and starting a full-time job," said Aaron Berger, vice president and leader of the millennial audience insights area at Ketchum. "Because of this, they represent a highly desirable consumer audience for brands." 

While millennials make up an estimated quarter of the world’s population, Gen Z contributes $44 billion to the US economy and by 2020 will represent 40% of consumers in the US, Europe and BRIC. GenZennials are in the middle of those numbers, best viewed not just as digital natives – but as data natives who have become ultra-savvy consumers. 

"Ketchum’s identification of the GenZennial cohort signals a shift in how we think about youth marketing," said Angela Fernandez, SVP and leader of Ketchum’s engaging Gen Z audience insights area. "We’re replacing two massive demographics defined by birth year with a smaller, narrower audience defined by a life stage and common mindset. This gives brands a far more effective way to reach them."

Accordingly, Ketchum has mapped out various strategies to help brands market to GenZennials, including a survey of 1,000 that will debut in April. Other efforts include workshops, newsroom and video content, influencer tools, message development and communications audit/counsel. 

Ketchum’s focus on GenZennials follows the agency’s previous efforts to help clients market to millennials and members of Generation Z. In 2015, Ketchum launched their first tranZition Study, which revealed the 15 forces that shape the Generation Z mindset and offered a deeper understanding of how the two generations differ. The agency then applied that knowledge to helping brands evolve their marketing strategy to engage Generation Z. 

Like many others, the firm has also invested in marketing to millennials, discovering ways to market to a generation that Ketchum says loves authentic experiences, not brands.