The oldest members of iGen will be old enough to start drinking in 2017.

It’s time to start learning what makes them tick. 

Who or what is iGen?

Finally, we found the bottom limit of the Millennial generation … Gen Z or iGen. 

I’ve been researching iGen to help our clients get ahead of the curve and, so far, The Center for Generational Kinetics seems to be the authority and has the most compelling findings. The following are findings, quotes and info-graphics all pulled from various reports from The Center for Generational Kinetics.

This generation is defined as cloud natives rather than digital natives; their world is “iEverything,” with a lowercase “i.” Other popular names for this fast-emerging generation are Generation Z and Centennials. It will be interesting to see which name sticks as the generation emerges.

Gen Z is being raised differently than Millennials were, which should have some pronounced effects on their views and approach to being employees, customers and citizens. Gen Z also has a different experience with technology than Millennials, which will affect every area of their life—from healthcare and dating to education and shopping. 

Who makes up Gen Z or iGen?
According to The Center for Generational Kinetics: Anyone born from 1996 to the present.

Why ’96?
Those born from 1996 onward do not remember September 11, 2001. If you don’t remember 9/11, then you are NOT a Millennial, but a member of the generation after Millennials.

This means that the older iGens will be old enough to start drinking this year.

There are currently over 23 million Gen Z or iGen in the United States.

They can learn complex things like how to upgrade your computer’s operating system the same way they can learn how to bake a vegan apple pie: one video at a time.

What else does the Center’s research tell us about iGen:

  • Gen Z views Facebook as being for “older generations.” As Gen Z gets more digital freedom, they appear to prefer more peer-to-peer social media and messaging apps, such as Snapchat, Vine and Instagram. A recent study showed that nearly 25% of 13- to 17-year-olds left Facebook this year!
    • iGen is twice as likely as Baby Boomers to say that social media affects how people see you and scores 5 percentage points higher than even Millennials, who were the pioneers of social media.
    • Social media has a greater effect on iGen externally than any previous generation, something marketers, employers and leaders need to know.
  • Gen Z’s future supervisors and managers will have to know that leaving their cell phone at home—or even leaving it in a drawer—is simply not an option for this new generation.
    • iGen, more than any other generation, said that it was more acceptable to use their phone in any manner during religious service, a job interview or your own wedding ceremony!
  • Teenage summer employment is at historically low rates, so early job experience is not taking shape for iGen the way it once did—even compared to Millennials.
  • Of all the generations, iGen has the LEAST concern about their privacy of any generation when it comes to paying with mobile apps, such as Venmo, and using social media.

Given that iGen and Gen Z are about age 20 and under, their defining moments are still happening! Key things that we know have affected them as a generation include the Great Recession impacting their parents, student loan debt becoming a crisis in America, the Affordable Care Act becoming law, growing up with an African-American US president, gay marriage becoming legal, medical marijuana becoming legal in many states and the fact that there have “always” been twenty something entrepreneurs who are billionaires. In addition, social media has always existed for them, Baby Boomers are their grandparents rather than their parents, and they think Millennials are old.


  • Now reaching their 20’s iGen are your next borrowers.
  • If you stepped up your social media game for Millennials, that was just “pre-game” … but not on Facebook.
  • If you do not have video capabilities, you’re not ready for iGen.
  • Mobile is where they live – you’d better move in.
  • Copywriters better start learning to be brief. Written communication is 140 characters or less.


In addition to being a strategic consultant for community banks and credit unions, MarketMatch also has nationally and internationally requested speakers. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your institution or next conference.

See our story here. (click)
Or email me directly (click)
Follow us on Twitter @MarketMatch

Love this Bank & Credit Union marketing blog?
Get the book! Download “Aha Moments,”
our free ebook chock-full of short articles.