Posted by: Lucila Cejas | April 6, 2015

Generation Z and Branding

As I read chapter 2 of Qualitative Research Methods by Sarah J. Tracy, I could not help but think about my terminal project. What kind of topic do I want to research? What do I want to learn? What do I want to write about? And most importantly, how can I contribute to the field?

Then it hit me. I realized that since my niece was a small child, I have asked her questions about her communication habits. A digital native generation truly fascinates me. My niece is attached to YouTube, and she watches reviews on products on a regular basis. I find that amazing! I mean, how do you market a generation that has the power of information in their fingertips? Having a good product is no longer enough, and the ability to communicate a company’s core image is crucial to economic success.

There are several questions that arise in my head. How does Generation Z use communication channels? What attracts them to use certain platforms over others? What is their relationship with brands? What attributes does a brand need to have in order to communicate effectively with them?

An emic qualitative study would be a suitable way to approach this research because it will allow me to answer questions based on the patterns that will emerge during interviews and chat sessions. I would run a focus group with qualifying participants to begin a conversation on their communication habits. This will allow me to gather initial insight, which could direct the conversation to specific platforms, possibly continue the conversation over time through Minecraft (6 out 23 kids in my niece’s class uses it, and numbers rise monthly).

This ethnographic study will serve as a comprehensive market research project that could be applied to retail companies looking to lock the Gen Z market or film studios whose main demographic are kids aged 5 to 15 😉 Since it is driven by the promotion aspect of communication, concepts like branding, market, brand identity, and target segments among others will emerge throughout it.

In order to answer my questions, I need to be a bricoleur and piece together all the data gathered: a collection of demographic information from the most popular platforms, current media on Generation Z (Example), focus groups, chat interviews, and possibly surveys on the next generation. Many other pieces will be added as I go along and explore the topic, most likely based on the feedback from the subjects.


  1. […] I mentioned in my previous post, I would like to research how adolescents relate to brands.  Is this a worthy topic? First, I will have to consider the concepts that will allow me to […]

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