|▲ This is a photo of the scene where users of the mobile game "Umamusume" serviced by Kakao Games staged a carriage protest. (Source: Bridge Economy)|
The term "MZ Generation" refers to the "millennial generation," a generation born in between the 1980s to the mid-1990s, as well as the "Jet Generation," a generation born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. According to the National Statistical Office, the number of MZ households as of 2019 is about 17 million, which is roughly 34% of the domestic population. Recently, the MZ Generation has emerged as the main focus of consumption, with many companies and brands focusing on marketing strategies targeting the MZ Generation. Recently, the MZ Generation shows a distinct difference compared to the existing generation, both personally and socially, as the phrase, "MZ Generation is different as expected," has become a buzz phrase among older generations. The characteristics of the MZ Generation, which play a decisive role in classifying the existing generation and the MZ Generation, can be largely identified as the folllowing three: 'sharedism', 'valueism', and 'activism'.
First, to explain the characteristic, 'sharedism,' the MZ Generation tends to prefer the view of 'sharing' objects and experiences, rather than the view of simple and straightforward 'ownership'. A case in point is the rapid rise of online subscription consumers, and according to a survey by Nielsen Korea on August 20, more than 50% of online subscription services are in their 20s and 30s, (the MZ Generation), and their proportion is expected to increase in the future. Many companies are expanding their subscription experience beyond OTT services to various areas such as food, daily necessities, and automobiles to meet the needs of the MZ Generation who are enthusiastic about subscription services.
Next, let's look at the second modifier that penetrates the MZ Generation, 'valueism'. Valueism refers to a phenomenon in which one clearly establishes one's own beliefs and acts accordingly. The MZ Generation is interested in "value" consumer products that meet their own standards, such as veganism, mining out, and conscious consumption. As individual directions are clear, they tend to spend on companies that have the same goals as them, rather than acting collectively according to the trend, and in line with this, various companies are offering new ways of marketing.
Finally, let's look at the third characteristic of the MZ Generation, 'activism'. From the time when the MZ Generation occupied the mainstream of society, evolved movements were detected in which consumers in various fields intervened from the production and service stages, away from the passive buyer's position. This trend can also be seen in the recent "horse demonstration" on August 29. On the morning of the 29th, a demonstration using a wagon was held in Pangyo, where Kakao Games Headquarters is located in Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do. This is because users eventually took collective action after the problem arose that Kakao Games' hit, "Umamusume Pretty Derby," discriminated between Japanese and Korean servers. In this way, content users are not passive in speaking out about internal problems, but actively petitioning for and demanding correction of the injustice they experienced, showing their aspect as a "consumer" rather than a "user." In response to this behavior, a social behavior expert said, "The behavioral characteristics of the MZ Generation, who feel obligated to actively protect their rights, are expected to have a causal relationship with this phenomenon."
Now, the MZ Generation, which has become the center of society, is blowing a wind of change in the existing complacent behavior style, due to their influence. It is a good phenomenon to promote future development by raising positive awareness in companies and society. However, just as aggression and violence are only a slight difference, it seems necessary to be able to control oneself, so that inspection of oneself can be done before censorship of others.
By Seo Ji-min, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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