Ask Gen Z: 2020 Trend Predictions

Ask Gen Z 2020 Trend Predictions

As the decade comes to an end, we asked our Gen Zers to share one trend prediction they have for the world in 2020

Another decade has come and gone. In the last 10 years we saw the rise of Instagram, the influencer, the meme economy, new technological feats, Baby Yoda, and more. But most importantly (in our eyes), was the emergence of Gen Z as a relevant and dynamic group of consumers, creators, activists, and communities that we, as marketers, should be paying attention to.

We launched Ask Gen Z (almost 2.5 years ago!) to explore this younger generation and better understand how they think and what ideas connect with their culture.

To end 2019 and begin a new decade, we asked our Gen Z panel what their trend predictions are for 2020.

Auditory Marketing Techniques

“With a majority of consumers on the go and the growing number of in-home voice-controlled products such as the Amazon Alexa and Google Home, I believe that more brands will begin adopting auditory marketing techniques. Brands now have the ability to attract consumers by aligning themselves with certain sounds or senses which can increase brand recognition immensely.” — Chrissy

Pop-Up Shop Frenzy

“Young consumers will drop everything and anything to check out the latest pop-up shop in the trendiest part of their city. Experience is becoming more and more valued every day, and I think brands are likely to pivot from a digital focus back to a physical focus in 2020. Whether brands invest in a more permanent physical footprint or multiple one-off experiences, I believe that bringing the brand to the consumer in innovative, memorable ways will yield a greater sense of customer loyalty.” — AJ

Influence of TikTok Creators

“With the rising influence of video-sharing platforms like TikTok, I predict we’ll see a greater demand for video content in 2020. The popular app largely appeals to Generation Z, and influencers on the platform are noticeably impacting what’s relevant in pop culture. I believe that the more casual, comical content that’s prevalent on the platform will make content creators and brands more focused on mastering video in a way that authentically appeals to and resonates with their audiences.” — Cheyenne

The Reemergence of Authentic Content Creation

“The reemergence of authentic content creation and content engagement is something that will come about in 2020. Instagram’s gradual removal of public likes seems to be largely supported by true creators as well as general younger users of the platform. Based on the conversations that I’ve seen on social, many believe that this change will lead to less anxiety around using Instagram, both as a consumer and creator of content. It’s expected that many will post even more to the grid for enjoyment without fear of how the post will perform compared to others. Resultingly, those consuming content will be allowed to decide for themselves whether to engage with the post rather than being influenced by how many others have liked the post. This update to the platform is reminiscent of the earlier days of social media where users were much more focused on self-expression and story-telling rather than content performance and engagement. If Instagram’s “Hidden Likes” become permanent, many, including myself, are hopeful that users will become comfortable sharing their authentic selves once more.” — Taylor

Normalization of CGI influencers

“We’ve already seen the emergence and wide success of CGI influencers, @lilmiquela being the prime example of this. She wears the most trendy designer clothing, poses with gen z star, Millie Bobby Brown in the latest Samsung Mobile campaign, has 2.7 million views on YouTube for her music video for her song “Money”, and even sparked controversy kissing supermodel Bella Hadid in a Calvin Klein ad campaign. Recently, Essence Cosmetics launched its own virtual influencer, @thisis.kenna, whose storyline asserts her as their newest product development intern. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more brands taking this approach in 2020 as it allows them to curate every detail of their brand ambassadors, minimizing brand risk associated with the unpredictability of human nature. With quickly evolving technology, we could see more advanced versions of these influencers as well, blurring the lines between what’s real and what’s CGI.” — Claire

The War on Plastic Continues

“In 2019, more brands and cities hopped on the trend of banning/removing single-use plastics from our environment. Starbucks, California, and even a washing machine has joined the movement. Arcelik’s new washing machine is built to help remove microplastics from clothing. This trend will continue to grow as brands help the movement. Even our own American Express (#client) made a credit card out of ocean plastics.” — Spencer

Episodic Content

“More YouTubers will be moving into episodic content in 2020. Unlike daily vlogs, episodic content utilizes a central theme and narrative, and it has multiple installments for viewers to come back and watch. Shane Dawson’s Conspiracy Series with Jeffree Star brought the tenured content creator back into internet relevance in 2019. Shay Mitchell also started her series over the summer chronicling her pregnancy. We should expect to see bigger YouTubers take up this format kicking off in January. There are studies that show that YouTubers’ videos are getting longer, and it’s because creators get more money. In addition, an article published by AdWeek stated that Gen Z-ers spend more time on YouTube than on Netflix.” — Adaobi