How to engage 'Generation K'

Written by Jack Gray
19/10/2018

'Generation K', or those now aged between 15 and 24, are “very different” to previous generations and more must be done to engage them with pensions, according to economist and author Noreena Hertz.

Speaking at the PLSA annual conference, Hertz specified four key ways to encourage engagement with 'Generation K': care, curate, customise and communicate.

Hertz argued that these “brushstroke suggestions” would appeal to 'Generation K', as the world that they have grown up in has left them anxious, distrustful and keen to co-create.

Hertz explained: “They've been shaped by the world of existential threat. This is the generation that has had terrorism, brutality and danger piped into their smart phones twenty-four seven.”

This generation therefore, understandably, has serious concerns about their future, especially in economic terms.

Around 72 per cent of 'Generation K' admitted to being worried about debt. Furthermore, only 6 per cent of 15-24 year olds said that they trust big corporations, in comparison to 60 per cent of adults.

“If we are to engage this generation, we need to understand them. If we are to connect with them we need to better include them. If we are to future-proof our businesses we need to evolve and adapt alongside them.”

Hertz's research also found this was a generation of savers, as every person in the focus groups surveyed said that they were already saving, again highlighting the financial anxiety 15-24 year olds are experiencing.

In explaining the reason as to why she has labelled them as 'Generation K', Hertz painted a bleak picture of the world they are growing up in:

“[The] K is after Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the global franchise, Hunger Games. Because, for this generation, the world is less like an oyster, more like a Hobbesian nightmare.”

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