Zillennial marketing: access the hidden generation

Authenticity, quality, and ethics are non-negotiable

What’s green, keen, and completely misunderstood? That would be the Zillennial generation

This ‘in-between’ age group is a demographic of climate advocates, eager spenders, and unrepresented consumers. They are the people who fit right into the centre of two demographics that no one (including themselves) really knows about. Born between the early 1990s and the early 2000s, Zillennials are generally between 23 and 33. But there’s no strict cut-off point for when someone is or isn’t a ‘Zillennial’. One thing is for sure though, people who identify as Zillennial understand what it means to be midway between the two generations. They didn’t grow up with a phone in hand quite like Gen Z, but equally did not experience the world quite like millennials did (who remembers the AOL dial-up internet sound?)

One of the defining characteristics of Zillennials is that they want to be authentic. With this in mind, it’s clear that brands need to work harder to show they understand these individuals. That means fewer sales pitches and more genuine connections. This generation is notoriously sceptical of brands, with weight being placed on marketers’ shoulders to show up truthfully. 

Are Zillenials the forgotten generation?

The word ‘Zillennial’ is constantly being autocorrected to ‘Millennial’. It just goes to show how little is known about this generation and how underutilised they are. There are over 30 million Zillennials around today, and they have serious spending power. Additionally, Business Insider reports that as many as 48% of adult Zillennials live with their parents. So, the combination of income and lack of bills means they have more cash to spend on the things that matter to them. Brands, take note.

Moreover, older Zillennials come under another group that are big spenders — DINKS (dual income, no kids). DINK households frequently have more disposable income because they do not have the added expenses that come with children. 

It’s safe to say that this microgeneration is an untapped market, but they aren’t an easy win. In fact, the irony of us even writing this article is that this generation doesn’t want to be ‘in a box’, but the opposite. 

How brands can connect with them

They aren’t here just for cheap thrills. Zillennials spend their money thoughtfully, buying from brands that provide genuine value. Luxury has become more popular among this group, showing just how much they’re willing to pay for the right brand. This generation also turn to refurbished sites for tech and second-hand sites for clothes (like Depop and Vinted). These value-driven behaviours aren’t, however, just based on products. Zillennials want to see value in the content they consume. 

Zillennials are the most connected generation. The majority (84%) of this group use social media and their channels of choice are Gen Z’s favourite — TikTok, as well as the millennial’s top choice — Instagram. They are users of multiple channels, making an omni-channel approach important for any social media strategy. All you have to do is search for ‘#zillennial’ on TikTok, and you get 332M results. Not to mention, each video has thousands of comments talking about the phenomenon, many of which are from Zillennials themselves. 

What’s clear is that nostalgia is a big deal for these grown-up kids, and sharing their stories on social media is something they enjoy doing. So join them in their conversations. 


I can just tell your a zillennial by looking at ypu #fyp #zillennial #millennial #genz #university

♬ Elevator Music – Bohoman

Get ahead of the competition…

Capture their imagination with authentic campaigns across multiple platforms. Lean into influencer partnerships to amplify your message and to validate it. Quality and ethics are non-negotiable; these guys grew up in economic uncertainty and want value.

Think long-term relationships, not flash-in-the-pan campaigns. Bottom line: get your brand values in sync, stay transparent, and offer them meaningful experiences. 

Featured image: Marie-Michèle Bouchard / Unsplash

Ellie Hooper, Head of Client, Goat

Ellie has over six years experience working in digital media and advertising at a number of award-winning agencies, spanning a breadth of clients and industry verticals from sports to FMCG to tech. With an expertise in paid media, Ellie specialises in wider social projects integrating the power of influencer with performance media, driving full funnel campaigns between brand and influencer to help deliver true value and long-term sustainable growth and consultancy for our clients.

All articles