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Zeus Jones Uses dscout to Explore Gen Z's Fluid Identity

Gen Z is a generation defined by fluid identities. How does that work when it comes to audience segmentation?

dscout worked with Zeus Jones to answer one deceptively complex question: who is Gen Z? Or, more specifically, how does Gen Z view itself?

Morgan Hay-Chapman is a strategist for Zeus Jones where she specializes in brand and engagement, strategy, and loyalty strategy as well as data analysis. The project she led with dscout set out to understand the fluidity of Gen Z’s identity in the context of audience segmentation.

The problem:

So much of what a brand is depends on a typically rigid set of guidelines—the way it looks, feels, and, perhaps most importantly, the audience it attracts. But when your audience’s sense of self is in a state of flux and fluidity, the way you understand and adapt to them must change too.

On a practical level, this presents problems with how one designs a study of Gen Z—and future consumers. After all, if you can’t cleanly segment your audience, it’s difficult to extract and present meaningful data to stakeholders.

The solution:

To try and understand the enigmatic identities of Gen Z audiences, Morgan and her team turned to dscout. The platform allowed them to leverage remote video research that not only gave a diverse and international base of response,s but also a deeper understanding of users' thought process.

“The fact that people could think about these tough questions and we could hear their thought process was really useful,” Morgan explains.

This also helped get over an initial hurdle of crafting questions that their users could understand and respond comprehensively to. The team devised 12 different core aspects of identity that the users participating in the study ranked according to how much they associated that aspect with their personal identity. They also came up with a creative way for their users to show their identity fluidity that relied on a tried-and-true data graphic: pie charts.

The impact:

Through its video platform and robust survey tools, dscout allowed Zeus Jones to get a firmer understanding of the ever shifting identities of their Gen Z users. What does this mean for brands? For one thing, they need to learn to adapt a more fluid understanding of their own identity as well.

“[Brands need to start] thinking about brand expression in less rigid terms and about the ways that your brand can come to life,” Morgan says. “Gen Z is a group of people who are so incredibly aware of their own identity, culture, and of how brands work. And they're able to kind of connect multiple touchpoints to decipher or create their meaning of what a brand is.”

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