Ep 108: Why Research is Your Competitive Advantage with Jason Dorsey

Without the right research, no one knows how to sell across the generation line. Instead, many companies rely on myths, like that Generation Z doesn’t like to communicate — they do, they just prefer to text. Today we speak with Jason Dorsey, a leading generational researcher and speaker, about why research will give you a competitive advantage.

He also shares his insights into Generation Z, a group that is already upsetting the marketplace. We open the conversation by chatting about his background and the work that his research firm does in providing top companies with data-driven analysis. Jason highlights the importance of distinguishing yourself in the market and how research can empower your problem-solving ability. We dive more into the incredible value of research in helping brands build trust and drive their influence, especially if you’re aiming to become an industry thought leader.

A key theme this episode, Jason explores how Generation Z and Millennials require different approaches before sharing his ‘dos and don’ts’ of appealing to Generation Z. All the big players make data-driven decisions, and many of them use Jason’s research, so tune in to hear how research can grow your brand.




  • Introducing Jason Dorsey, world-leading generational researcher and speaker.
  • Hear about Jason’s journey from speaking for free to keynoting stadium-sized events.
  • Jason’s work as a researcher and what separates him from other thought leaders.
  • Owning your data and the importance of being unique within the marketplace.
  • How Generation Z and Millennials are “upending every major industry.”
  • Separating generational truth from myth to help people make the right decisions.
  • The difference between data and research and what good research looks like.
  • How research can give you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace.
  • Turning third-party research into an actionable story to position yourself as a thought leader.
  • The importance of being transparent with your methodology.
  • Why people misunderstand the characteristics of Gen Z and Millenials.
  • Jason shares the dos and don’ts of appealing to the Gen Z market.
  • How generations are marketing clues, not boxes; understanding the clues will help accelerate your brand.
  • Why Gen Z and Millennials are so fundamentally different.


“The more data that we collected that was our own, the more people came to us for that information. For that insight.” — @jasondorsey [0:07:43]

“The easiest way to understand what’s going on in an industry that you want to be an expert in is to look at all the third-party research that other people have paid for.” — @jasondorsey [0:15:41]

“Generations are clues and not boxes. But they’re powerful clues that allow you to connect with, build trust, and drive influence. If you can do that, then you can grow your brand faster.” — @jasondorsey [0:27:13]

“What worked with Millennials doesn’t work with Gen Z. They aren’t Millennials 2.0. They don’t remember a time before social media.” — @jasondorsey [28:17]


Jason Dorsey is the most sought-after Gen Z, Millennial, and generational keynote speaker, strategic advisor, and global researcher.

Jason’s passion is solving generational challenges for leaders using his unique research discoveries. He delivers results through his acclaimed keynote presentations, strategic advisory work, and unique behavioral research. His talent is applying insights from his 65+ research studies with his frontline experience working with over 700 clients to uncover specific, new solutions that drive measurable results. He’s funny, too.

Jason has been featured on 200+ TV shows, including 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, and The Early ShowAdweek calls Jason a “research guru” and The New York Times featured him in its cover story on marketing to Millennials. Jason is known for discovering Millennials are breaking into two generations: Mega-llennials and Me-llennials. His newest book for leaders, Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business–and What To Do About It, will be released in September 2020 by HarperCollins.


Speaker 1: (00:05) [Inaudible] RV: (00:07) Hey, brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for tuning in to listen to this interview, we are so excited to bring you this information and wanted to let you know that, Hey, there’s no sales pitch coming from anything that we do with this is all our value add to you and the community. However, if you are somebody who is looking for specific strategies on how to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and we offer a free call to everyone that’s interested in getting to know us and is willing to give us a chance to get to know them and share a little bit about what we do. So if you’re interested in taking us up on a free strategy call, you can do that at brand builders, group.com/summit. Call brand builders, group.com/summit. Call. Hope to talk to you soon on with the show. RV: (01:02) You’re about to meet one of the smartest people that I know, one of my best personal friends, someone that I learn a ton from, and I admire tremendously. Jason Dorsey is truly one of the, I think, most respected, true thought leaders in the world. Somebody who’s work defines our world and helps us redefine our world. So he is the leading generational researcher. I think in the world he’s been on 60 minutes. He’s been on the today show. He’s been on the early show. He’s been on over 200 shows. I mean, he’s on national TV on almost a weekly basis and him and his wife. Okay. So Denise via is the CEO of gen HQ and they are a research firm that helps huge companies conduct data driven, you know, empirical analysis on the trends of how generations are buying, selling, working. And they have a brand new book that’s coming out called Z economy. RV: (02:09) How gen Z is going to change the future of business and what to do about it. So this affects you as a personal brand. We’re going to talk a little bit about how Jason and Denise have built their careers up to where they are at now. And Jason was recently inducted into the professional speaking hall of fame. He’s had over 1000 standing ovations and there’s also one of the most dynamic onstage presenters that I have ever, ever seen. So Jason, welcome to the show, buddy. Thank you. Just thrilled and honored to be with you. And I just want to say thank you for all that I’ve learned from you about brand building and developing a platform and really being able to leverage ideas and to influence. So thank you so much for having me on and for your friendship. It’s truly an honor to be with you today. JD: (03:00) Of course, brother. So I think hopefully don’t mind me sharing this. You’re one of the highest paid speakers in the world and specifically among speakers who are paid a lot of money who are no offense I would put in the non-celebrity Speaker 4: (03:16) Non-Celebrity yes, definitely a non-celebrity over here reminded about that, JD: (03:20) But my nine year old daughter every day that I’m not a celebrity. And when I think about why, okay, we talked about a lot of the reasons why, you know, being amazing on stage, you have been in this industry a long time, but I think that your super power is probably research. And of course, Jen HQ you, you the center for generational kinetics is actually the name of the firm, right? So you guys do real research and so can you just talk about like, what do you, what do you do there as a research firm and how do you think that that shapes, you know, or has shaped your speaking career in terms of what separates you from other speakers, authors, thought leaders, you know, et cetera. Yeah, it’s a great question. And so I think maybe to go back a little bit, I got into this when I was 18 years old and I didn’t have a resource like you or, or other groups that could sort of help me to figure out what my path would be to become an author and speaker and a consultant and eventually a board member and so forth. JD: (04:22) So I had to sort of stumble my way through as many of us do. I ended up sleeping on the floor of a garage apartment when I was 18. I was $50,000 in debt. I had 5,000 books that I had self printed and no idea what I was doing, which is probably a good thing. Cause I may not have gotten that if I do what I was doing, but, but out of that, I sort of took the traditional path of in order to be an expert, I should write a book, which I still believe is one of the absolute best ways to get out there. It’s not the only way, but it’s a great way to do it. It shows depth of understanding and, and sort of a body of work or around a question or strategy or topic or something. So I wrote this first book and then eventually I started speaking for free. JD: (04:58) And then eventually I started getting paid a few hundred dollars and then more, and then I guess it was two or three years later, I was keynoting event. It was me and Barbara Bush, 5,000 people in arena, fireworks, going off. And, and to some degree I sort of thought I’d made it, you know, my mom was there. So that was really helpful. So that was my mini celebrity moment. And then after that, I realized that people would pay me to speak and that there was actually a business here to be a brand at that particular time talking about my generation, which we eventually called the millennials. But back then we did, and it was just young adults. And so I would go when I would speak and write and do all that. And I did that for many years, wrote a bunch more books. And then I ended up on 60 minutes and it was sort of one of those watershed moments, certainly for me in my career, but also around the topic of generations. JD: (05:46) Because until then it wasn’t nearly as hot of a topic, but that 60 minute episode really got the attention, particularly of executives, entrepreneurs, baby boomers, frankly, people that had money and influence and were makers. They then called me up and said, you know, we’ve hired your generation, Jason, they’re terrible. Their pants are falling off. You know, their moms here, they won’t work on their birthday. Like, you know, what’s wrong with you. And so I sort of became the flak jacket if you will, for my generation. And in doing that, I’m speaking at all these corporate board events and just, you know, doing what I do. And I’ll remember distinctly, I was at this one boardroom and I was, I was meeting with the board and the CEO of this public company. So it’s publicly held company trades on the New York stock exchange at the time basically said that millennials were terrible and head and they just had all these problems with it. JD: (06:34) So I not knowing any better when afterwards. And I asked their head of HR, I said, would you mind sending me the data so I could understand the problem that we just heard about because I want to make sure I can contextualize it. Cause then maybe I can try to, to solve for, to come up with some ideas. So they sent me the data and I looked at the data. I’ll never forget it. And the data didn’t match what the CEO had just said. And that was a huge deal because I, you know, I’ve served on the board of a public company. I serve on lots of private company boards right now it’s unusual that a CEO would make such a bold claim that isn’t grounded in their own data. Right? And so I went through the niece, my wife, who has a PhD, and I said, Denise, this is the strangest thing. JD: (07:16) You know, it just was with this company. They’re amazing. The CEO said this, I got the data set. And then the data does not match what the CEO just said. I said, what do you think we should do? And she said, we should start a research company. She said, because then we can give people great data, accurate data, and then they can make better decisions. And if we control the data, if we, if it’s our data, then we’re the people that they’re going to keep coming back to in order to help them grow their business or whatever the problem is you’re trying to solve. So that was how we created the center for generational kinetics. And Diddy’s being a professional researcher, became the CEO, ran up all of our research. And then we started doing more and more research. And we started doing research in the U S and then we started doing research outside the U S multiple languages and what ultimately happens. JD: (08:00) And I think this is so important for people who want to build their brand is the more data that we collected that was our own. The more people came to us for that information, for that context, for that insight. And so when you want to separate yourself in a market, one of the things I’ve learned to do is to be unique or different from everybody else that now I may not be better. I happen to think in most cases, our solutions are better, but I’m certainly different because we’ve now done more than 65 generational studies around the world. We’ve worked with over 700 clients, including many of the biggest brands in the world. And every time we work with clients, we get their data. And you can imagine now when somebody comes to me from, I don’t know, pick an industry life insurance and says, Jason, you know, can you help us think about the generational impact on the life insurance category and what our sales professionals need to know? JD: (08:46) I can say absolutely. In fact, I know exactly what works to sell life insurance, to millennials, gen X and boomers, and why one generation tries one technique to sell and that work with this generation of customers and vice versa. But then I can take that and apply it to automotive. I can apply it to physicians and healthcare. I can apply that to technology B2B enterprise company. So all of a sudden what we did, and it was not intentional. What we did is the more data that we created, the more research we did, the more we stood out in the market and you asked, you know, how do we charge the fees that we get that we receive? It’s because people are hiring me because we bring this data. This research has insights to everything that we do. So even if I don’t do a study for someone, the fact is I’ve already done 15 studies in automotive. JD: (09:28) I don’t have to do that. So they already know what it was, and I’m still getting data from all these different sources. And so for me, like when we wrote this economy book, what I think makes it so powerful. So we have all this data about gen Z. Who’s now 24 years old, as they relate to, let’s say millennials and gen X and baby boomers. And so for people out there, let’s just use the book as an example that wanted to let’s say, recruit or motivate or retain gen Z. They don’t have time managers out there to go try a whole bunch of stuff and see what works. They want to know what works. So we’re able to give them that, cause we’ve already proven it same with marketing or sales or building trust or driving influence. And that’s what people pay us for. They pay us to bring context and data driven insights and help them solve a specific problem. Right? I’m not a raw speaker. I’m not, you know, I, wasn’t a coach of a professional football team. I don’t do that. I help people understand how to solve tough generational challenges. And right now, like in our case, gen Z and millennials are upending. Every major industry, huge issues being created and they need to be solved so that leaders can move forward, grow their own personal brand, but also move their business forward. And so that’s how we got into this. And what was left RV: (10:33) You think for you that they’re all causing ruckus. Cause that’s key that keeps you in high demand, screwing everything up JD: (10:40) For everybody. Well, and that, so let’s take that comment. Cause I think it’s a really good one. So, so the perception we hear from executives all the time is, you know, Jen’s Dean, they’re driving all this change or just all of this change. They’re creating all this problems. And argument is no, they’re not. They’re just doing what they’ve always done. It’s all they’ve ever known for them. This isn’t changed. This isn’t new. This is indifferent. This is purely all they’ve ever known in terms of how to communicate what their work styles are, what their motivations are. What’s important to them. And they’re bringing that into an environment. The environment sees it as change, but gen Z and even millennials, they don’t see it as change. It’s all they’ve ever known. Why are you calling me, send me a text. You want me to do bring a checkbook? JD: (11:23) I don’t have one. You know, like these sorts of things are real deal. And so in the book in particular, we try to humanize with a bunch of Jensey stories, but also have managers who are sharing their personal stories, working with Genti marketers, talking about how they’re using social media and why certain things work and certain things don’t. And I think that’s the biggest issue for me. So we’ve sort of built our brain on the idea that we separate generational myth from truth. That’s really the key, right? We separate myths from truth and that’s what most people want are smart. If they can just get the truth, they’ll make a great decision, but they don’t know who to trust, where to go for the information so forth. And so we can bring that to them. So as a brand, you know, my brand evolved originally. JD: (12:04) I was a writer, writer wrote my first book and then I became a speaker. I didn’t become a speaker out of strategy. I became a speaker cause nobody bought the book, but I could eventually I got offered a free lunch to speak. And then I got offered dinner to speak. And then I got paid on a hundred dollars, whatever. And so, so all of that. So I went from author, really being passionate about a subject to being a speaker and then trying to figure out how to communicate well, right? 3000 talks around the world to all kinds of audiences. I mean the same kind of big stages you speak on. And then from that going into research and every time I’ve done that our fees have gone up, demand has gone up, influence has gone up the media, calls us all the time because we have the data. And so for me, when I think about building a brand, for example, this economy book is the way we’re going to base our brand for the next 10 years, gen Z is not going away. So do this and put it out and build on it. RV: (12:53) I want to talk about gen Z specifically in a second, because I think it’s, it’s you know, they are a massive force in the world, which is going to affect all of our businesses before we do that though, in terms of research. Okay. So, so let’s say that I’m, you know, I’m not a generational speaker, but I speak on something marriages or health or money or something. JD: (13:20) What, what does research, what does research mean? RV: (13:23) Like really mean and how can I, how can I do something semi substantive at lease and semi, you know, like I think there’s gotta be different levels of research, right? Like one thing is like, Hey, I did an Instagram poll to my followers. Another might be, Hey, I actually conducted a survey and I found some audience, another level might be, I hired some research from, and then maybe the next level is I hired an actual researcher that was on my team. Like, can you just walk us through like the varying levels of like what counts as research? And, and, and to what extent we really need to be able to do it in order to kind of cite it as fact and truth and not just like, you know, my Instagram poll. JD: (14:07) Yeah, absolutely. So I think there’s a, a pretty big difference between data and research. And so a lot of people confuse the two. And so for let’s take your Instagram poll. I actually think social media polls are great way to drive engagement, but they don’t represent really anything other than the people who happen to follow you more than likely or you’re advertising to, and then sub some subgroup of those that happen to be so entice that without being paid any money and they have nothing else to do that they’re actually going to complete the poll. Right. And so if you think about who it represents, I would argue probably doesn’t even represent your followers. It represents some subgroup that at that moment was interested enough and didn’t have something else going on that they wanted to participate and receive nothing in return for it. JD: (14:47) Right. So it’s helpful. It’s interesting. You want to share it and it’s a great data point, right? It’s, it’s really interesting. And you’ll probably find a lot of things that will help to inform future things. We wouldn’t consider that research, but we will consider it interesting. And I wouldn’t say that it’s wrong or bad. It’s just one source of data. But I think the problem is people do an Instagram poll or a Facebook poll, or they email their list and then they put it out as infantry search. And that I think is where you, you can, it’s a very slippery slope for us, generally speaking quantitative research, which is primarily what we do. We’re always looking to have a very low margin of error usually plus, or minus 3.1 19 out of 20 times. And so if somebody comes to me and says, Jason, I want to know your methodology. JD: (15:29) I want to know your sample. Then I absolutely want to be able to share that with them, help them to understand it. And I always say in my talks, if people are citing data, but they don’t tell you where they got it from, or they don’t tell you the methodology and sample be very leery because they could have just pulled their friends. They could have just asked their family. They could have asked a group that they knew was going to answer in a very specific way. So sort of on your, your hierarchy, if you will, of what you provided. So, you know, polls and things to your friends, which by the way, that’s a great way to understand your list and a great way to understand your followers. There’s probably even, Speaker 5: (16:00) Yeah. There’s other uses there’s other uses for that data point. JD: (16:04) Absolutely. And if it’s for internal insights in particular, I think that’s fabulous. What you don’t want to do is go start publishing that as if it’s research because anybody who’s an actual researcher, we’ll, we’ll fight, we’ll poke holes in it and that’s it like somebody like us, we have to be careful. We have PhD researchers because other PhD researchers are looking at our research. Right. And so we know that that’s sort of the, just the way it works. So you have the poles like you talked about, and then you could say go up. Like, here’s what I would do. If somebody came to me, cause we work with lots of big name celebrities and we do this for lots of companies that the easiest way to understand what’s going on in an industry that you want to be an expert in is to go and aggregate third party research. JD: (16:43) What I mean by that is you go from find research from all different sources where they did actual studies and then you put it together. And now you sort of have your one page five page, 10 page, 50 page source document of all this great research that other people have paid for, but they’ve released it publicly. Like for us, most of our research, we never released publicly because our clients want to use it as a competitive advantage in the marketplace. And then we have some that want to be really positioned as thought leaders. And so they want to release the research and bring something different to that conversation. And we help them get tons of media and get on TV shows and all this kind of jazz. But, but if we’re going back to the personal brand side, then what I would say is you want to start with this sort of landscape research where you take whatever you can find out there. JD: (17:27) And if you have no budget, you just find all the free stuff and you sort of synthesize it together, you cite it correctly. And now you’ve got this foundational piece of information, right? That you can then refer to going like a step up from that. You could join, let’s say a syndicated study or some other study where there’s a whole bunch of people chipping in, in order to do a really great study. That’s pretty common. And then you can jump up if a mortar, which is to what we do, which is customer. And we do quantitative research, qualitative research, we do mixed method, all kinds of things. But the key there is I like on the quant side, we’re doing pretty large studies, a thousand completes 2000 completes 5,000 complaints. We’re doing it around the world. We’re waiting it to something like the, let’s say the us census for age, gender, geography, and ethnicity or whatever it is. JD: (18:07) And then we’ll do like maybe I just want to find out about people who I don’t know started college, but didn’t finish or people who are small business owners that are millennials and female, right? Whatever those are, I would do studies built around those. And so, as you want to, frankly, as yet to spend more money, you can do much more complex studies. You can do more complex analytics with the data and so forth. But fundamentally what I would say to somebody can mean said, look, Jason, I got no money. Where would I start? I would say, great. What I would do is I go find all the publicly available research. You can put it together in some source documents, cite everything correctly, which is really the key. And then you can start to talk about it, cause it doesn’t have to be your data as long as it’s released publicly and you cite them appropriately. JD: (18:48) I mean, our research gets quoted all the time and that’s how we get so much media. It’s shocking how many other people use our research and their work. I mean, part of the reason we even did this economy book is because we do this study called the state of gen Z. We do it every year and have done it for many years. And that’s really sort of the source study for people trying to understand gen Z. And it was getting so much publicity that we ended up doing this economy book in many ways, because we wanted to go really deep around those core questions and strategy. So I personally believe that research is one of the best ways to separate yourself, particularly in a crowded market. And like there’s, there’s competition everywhere. It doesn’t matter what your topic is, motivation, strategy, generations, leadership, whatever. Right. And so anything you can do to distinguish yourself in a credible way, particularly through research, I think is very valuable. And I believe that if you want to work with executives and entrepreneurs and people that are making big bets, the more data and research that you can bring, the more you’re going to have trust with them because they will know that you know what you’re talking about. And I think that’s really important, even more so where do you RV: (19:50) Nine? I mean, that’s really a powerful, that’s so practical and powerful is just to like, even for your own confidence that you’re not just sharing random thoughts off your head, but it’s like, Hey, this is based. Okay. JD: (20:02) Some, some statistically valid RV: (20:05) Work, even if I, if, even if it’s not my original work, where do you find third party research? You just go to like Google and type it in or is there JD: (20:14) Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. What I always suggest to people. So we do customer research. We do custom research for brands who do it for companies who do it for lots of big institutional investment groups. We do it for tons of people. So that’s our core business, but if somebody wanted to not use us, so let’s say, I, you know, they say, I don’t want to work for the center for generational kinetics. I’m not interested in, you know, whatever the topics are, where we specialize. I want to go hire somebody else. I would just go on Google and would always tell people is get three bids. You’ll be stunned, how different the pricing will be for the same exact thing, dramatically different pricing. If you’ve got five, you have five. And so then you sort of got to work through and say, okay, what’s going to get me what I want. JD: (20:56) What would I have confidence in the deliverables they’re going to provide? Are they going to help me to understand it? Or do they just write a survey and send me the answers? Then I got to go figure it out. Like our specialty is we write really great questions, but that’s what, that’s what we have so much business. And then we turn it into really powerful deliverables. And so what happens is you can do a great study, but if you can’t tell a good story based on the data, then it doesn’t matter how great the study is because people won’t be engaged to it. So you really got to be able to write great questions, have the right sample do all the things that you do and sort of good research hygiene. And then from there, the next step is turning it into that story based in the data that connects with the people you’re trying to reach. JD: (21:36) Maybe those are executives. Maybe those are entrepreneurs. Maybe they’re meeting planners, whoever it is they are, but they need to be able to understand why that, that research is important to them. Why do they need to take action on it? Why should they engage with you? And that I think is where it starts to get very powerful. I think people very often go cheap on research because they think, Oh, I just need to do a study. And I’m going to throw a few thousand dollars at it or something. And then they’re frequently disappointed. They say research doesn’t work, but it’s sorta like you. And I joke about, well, if you pay for, you know, an inexpensive speaker and you’re not happy with them, you probably got what you paid for. You know, that there’s not always a direct correlation, but oftentimes there’s enough, particularly if they’ve been around for a long time, but then RV: (22:15) Aggregating third party stuff. Like you’re saying that you can just search like the state of gen Z. You guys make that available just on your website and stuff like, so you’re saying you can find credible third party research just to help you understand your own space just by basically searching around and then looking for in their citation. What’s their margin of error and their sample size and that kind of stuff to make sure you’re looking at a valid JD: (22:40) Peace. Yeah. All great research will share their methodology. So if you go on our website, which is gen hq.com, GE and hq.com, you can click on state of gen Z. You’ll see our state of gen Z research studies there for those who are still sort of unsure what this looks like. You can see lots of research done for other clients. And so anytime something’s publicly available on the web, it usually says, you know, here’s our methodology, but also says, here’s how this can be used. If you want to use it, make sure you cite us. You know, if you’re going to publish it, make sure you link back that kind of thing. And by the way, you want to do that because that’s the right way to do it. And so yeah, I would go with the third party research first. I think that that’s statistically valid, put it together and provide it to people in a way that’s very helpful for them to understand something. JD: (23:20) A lot of times people think that research is about solving problems. Like we happen to use it for solving problems, but it may just be understanding a situation. Sure. If you don’t have understanding, you can’t drive towards that resolution, you can’t innovate. And so it brings a different perspective. You know, I’ll use millennials or gen Z as an example, lots of our clients say they know gen Z or millennials, and then they start to describe them. I’m like, well, that’s your kid or your grandkid, but that’s not the 80 other millennials, you know, in the U S or RV: (23:51) That’s not a statistically valid sample. It’s not, JD: (23:54) It’s a sample of one that, you know, you happen to have a lot of emotional tie to. And so we always joke that, that a lot of our clients have a proxy for the generation and that representative of the generation is their child or grandchildren. And usually the one that’s most frustrating for them. And so they’re stunned when we say, you know, gen Z is the fastest growing generation in the workforce. Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, millennials outspend every other generation last year, millennials were the number one generation to refer their friends, gen Z or the key group of trendsetters right now for the first time, the youngest, which is gen Z. RV: (24:29) So let me, let me stop there. Cause I wanna, I want to officially transition here to the, to the, to the Z economy book and to gen Z, because I, I think that, you know, this expertise and the data you’re talking about. So if you put your hat on, so let’s just steal a little bit of free consulting from Jason Dorsey as personal brands that are, you know, communicating about a variety of topics, but we’re kind of like establishing thought leadership and things. What are, what are the things that we need to know about gen Z, that the data is telling you that you go okay, if you’re trying to reach this audience and why we either should or should not care about reaching the audience, but just like, what are some of the macro trends? I mean, obviously that’s what Z economy book is all about is like in the state of gen Z report. But I think if, as you apply that to personal brands, what are some of the things you think we could be on the lookout for? JD: (25:25) Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll show you, I’ll share with you some things that you should do and what to avoid. So in terms of things to absolutely do, like for us, we know a gen Z, they’re very values driven in terms of how they engage with brands and they don’t just engage. They join a brand. And so if you’re going to go out and you’re going to promote whatever it is that you’re, you know, is your personal brand or your larger brand, it’s very important. You share the why behind what you do. And I don’t mean like the Simon Sinek, why, I mean the, you know, how are you going to make the world a better place? How are you helping your local community? How are you working to combat some of these social challenges that gen Z is very much connected to this and we’ve seen it over and over and over in our research around the world. JD: (26:04) So it’s very important to have that mission, that thing that you’re owning, that you’re saying you’re tied to, it’s not just about making money. In fact, gen Z is more frugal than millennials. Gen Z has a higher savings rate. They’re looking for coupons and discounts are entering the workforce later than ever before. They’re going to graduate college there than ever before. 12% of them were already saving for retirement at age 22. Like, I mean some pretty staggering numbers for a generation so young. So if you want to message to them, and again, this is 24 and under you want to be very thoughtful that you’re in alignment with their values, whichever ones, you know, obviously they gotta be your values, but you want to make sure that they’re in alignment and you’re talking about things that are going to resonate with them. And then you to walk the talk on that, you can’t just say it. We saw so many brands over the last 12 months get completely blown up on social media because they said one thing and then they didn’t do it, or, you know, and so that lack of alignment gen Z will call you out so fast for that. So I think that’s really important. The second is RV: (26:59) They socially aware, is that like you would say, they’re kind of like socially aware, JD: (27:04) Well, they’re, they’re aware of social causes, right? They want, they want to know that you’re about more than just making money. And so much of personal branding unfortunately, is like, here’s how to make money or get rich or do this. And then people turn around and try to sell that. Like that’s interesting for gen Z. In fact, we would argue that gen Z would prefer to a side hustle versus trying to Steven start their own business. There’s a bunch of reasons for that tied around risk and money. But, but the idea here is you want to be really clear what you stand for so they can understand and decide if they, if it resonates with them. The second we know is they are very much into video and not into reading. That doesn’t mean they don’t read because they do read. But in terms of them taking the effort to engage with the brand videos where they start, that’s where we see things like ticktock doing so incredibly well or Snapchat and even Instagram. And obviously you’re the expert on videos. So that the video is what pulls them in and drives that sense of engagement reading for many young people is work doesn’t mean they don’t like to do it. It’s just work. And they’re used to just getting so much content through video that if you’re not providing a video, you’re missing them, all the posts with photos and all this stuff. Interesting. But you really want to pull them in. RV: (28:08) Oh, so not even phone, not even photos, you’re saying like donate, don’t think of photo and video is the same video is different. JD: (28:16) Definitely. Yeah, absolutely great distinction video. We find much more effective than photo or an image. They don’t like Photoshop things that are fake things that are perfected. That’s why you see brands like Arie who’s in this economy book doing so well with gen Z, where they’re showing like real images of real women, these kinds of things. So that a real desire for sort of rawness, I think is very strong with them. But we also see when we look at gen Z is if you are trying to sell them something, they need to know they’re getting a good deal. Now that’s important because they are very fiscally conservative or practical with their money. We see that they use coupons, they have this high savings rate, they get money for their birthday. They put it away and then ask their parents for money to go buy stuff. JD: (28:54) They really there’s a lot of that in the book. Does that mean that it reflects all gen Z? No, because our belief is generations or clues and not a box, but they’re powerful clues that do three things. They allow you to connect with build trust and drive influence. And if you can do that at a high level, you can grow your brand faster, but we also see what gen Z, if you want to engage with them, you have to understand their life stage. Remember they’re doing everything later than previous generations. That’s getting their driver’s license later in any other generation and into the workforce later RV: (29:22) Boggles my mind, my, my niece, like she waited like a year to get her driver’s license. And I’m like, everyone I know. Was there the day JD: (29:33) That you were eligible for a driver’s life RV: (29:35) That blew my mind? JD: (29:37) Yeah. Well, th that the concept of freedom, which is underlying that the, that for other generations, your driver’s license was your passport to freedom. Lose your ability to leave your home. Well, gen Z, we find don’t need that for a variety of reasons. We could go into all those take the rest of the time, but, but fundamentally they don’t attach the same thing to a driver’s license. And so if you have a different view of it, then you’re engaging with is different. Even owning a car, sounds like work and expense, but you don’t have to do it in a lot of places. So all of that, that’s why I say, you know what? Work with millennials. Tell brands this all the time, but we’re moving millennials. Doesn’t work with gen Z because they’re not millennials 2.0, I mean, they are completely different. They don’t remember a time before social media. JD: (30:16) They’ve always been able to do everything through, by sliding a finger on a screen. I mean, it’s fascinating. They’ll never write a check. They’ll never have a landline at home. All this stuff that’s sort of millennials started and was new and different gen Z doesn’t remember anything, but that in fact, gen Z does not remember nine 11. And that was one of our biggest discoveries. And that’s when he got here. So yeah, I mean, this generation is so different, more diverse than millennials. So in the book, a NC economy, we talk about this because if you can bring this accurate context, then you can figure out what to do. But the problem is so often we start with our own and then we apply it to them. And that’s where we misspeak. RV: (30:55) That is fascinating. I mean, yeah, just some of those things that you just said, like nine 11 and driver’s license. I mean, those are, you know, these like capstone moments in our life that don’t even, they’re not even on their register. So the way that we live and think is completely different from how they live and think, and it’s not that they have changed. I love what you said early on about they’re stepping into our environment. They’re not changing. It’s who they is, who they have been. Awesome. So Jason, this was like, man, I have to have been listened to this, like several times, just to pull out the part about how to do research and think about that. And then also gen Z, where do you want people to go to connect with? You obviously does economy book is coming out, you know, about this time. And so you can go find that and learn more about how we can take our personal brand and connect it to the trends that are coming with gen Z. But where should people go if they want to connect with you personally? JD: (31:56) Yeah, sure. Definitely. If you want to go check out the book, if you buy it on Amazon and you email us at [inaudible] dot com, we’ll send you all the free video courses that we put together. Denise, neither really, really good in terms of connecting with us personally, you could find me easiest way to find me is on Twitter. You can also just join our newsletter. That’s when we share all of our best research every month, you can sign up for [email protected]. And if you want to read more about the book and different things, you can go to Z economy, Z C O N O M y.com. I really look forward to connecting with everybody. You know, if people are part of your tribe, Rory you know, I I’d love to connect with them. So please feel free to reach out. RV: (32:36) Yeah, well there you have it friends. That, that is what it sounds like. And looks like when you have real data backed insights as research. Jason, thank you so much for, for this. And Kurt, you all go follow Jason, check him and Denise’s books, economy. We’ll link up to that in the show notes. Jason, we wish you the best. Thanks for being here. My man. Thank you, Rory. Congrats.

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