Gen Z vs. Millennials Part 2


In our last blog post, we examined a few of the differences between the ways in which Gen Zers and Millennials interact with brands. We discovered that each group views the concept of a brand differently: brand identity is seen from varying perspectives, and opinions about what kind of marketing strategy is most effective differ, as well.

In our continued investigation of Millennials vs. Gen Zers, let’s take a closer look at how these two generations might not be that different, after all.

How They Spend Money

Differences aren’t just limited to how these two generations shop, either. Studies also show distinctions between the types of items Gen Zers and Millennials are willing to spend their money on. While many Gen Z shoppers tend to purchase products related to technology and wellness, Millennials are more likely to buy things associated with experiences such as travel. In addition, furniture and home goods are also top choices for this particular age demographic.

Different Conditions in Early Life = Different Approaches to Money

Consumption habits are often conditioned by the historical and economic periods in which we live. If Millennials grew up during a fairly stable economic period, Gen Zers have early memories from a time when the US was in a deep recession. But what does all of this mean, exactly?

Having early recollections of a time when most of the world was thriving financially, Millennials are accustomed to being more optimistic about money than Gen Zers, whose earliest financial memories, on the other hand, are linked to the global economic crisis.


Even with all of these differences, Millennials and Gen Z consumers still share many similarities when it comes to the way they interact with brands.

Young Americans, regardless of their age group, all show sensitivity to small businesses. Small business spending has increased due to these companies having a greater ability to build strong connections with their younger clientele. Digital marketing and social commerce have allowed small businesses to expand their reach far beyond their local brick and mortar stores. For those concerned with sustainability, as many individuals in these both of these age groups are, there’s also been more attention paid to supporting the local economy and regional businesses, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, Gen Z and Millennial consumers have displayed greater trust overall in small businesses than in large corporations.


These generations are both digital natives, meaning they grew up with at least some access to technology, using their cell phones to support habitual behaviors in their daily routines, from working to shopping to socializing. This, in turn, leads brands to consider their values, visual identities, and marketing communications through an omni-channel context, comprised of both digital and more traditional strategies, as well. Whereas in the past, social media messaging was simply one of several different options a company had for communicating with its target audience, it’s now something a brand cannot avoid if they want to survive and grow into a profitable, thriving business.


These are just some of the differences and commonalities between Gen Zers and Millennials. At Octonano, we guide strategy for marketing and branding, taking into account the many variables that come with reaching different age groups and generations. Reach out to us to learn how we can help with your branding strategy or omni-channel marketing strategy.