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Beyond labels: segmenting the Gen Z market for more effective marketing

Joeri Van den Bergh (Human8, Ghent, Belgium)
Patrick De Pelsmacker (Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
Ben Worsley (Human8, Ghent, Belgium)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 3 October 2023

Issue publication date: 20 February 2024




The purpose of this study is to identify segments in the Gen Z population (born between 1996 and 2010) in Europe, the USA and Australia, based on brand- and lifestyle-related variables and perceptions about their online activities. This study explores how these segments differ and provide insights into cross-country similarities and differences.


An online survey was conducted with 4,304 participants, and cluster analysis and analysis of variance were used to identify and profile Gen Z segments in each of three geographical areas.


Five segments in Europe and four segments in the USA and in Australia were identified. Segments differ in terms of the importance they attach to exclusivity, inclusivity and sustainability of brands, how Gen Z members perceive money issues and stand in life and how they perceive their online activities. Similar segments are found in the three geographical areas.

Research limitations/implications

This study proposes a conceptual and analytical approach for exploring intra-cohort diversity. Future research can apply this approach to different generational cohorts and use it to study intra-cohort diversity in other parts of the world.

Practical implications

This study provides input for marketing practitioners to create better focused and more effective campaigns.


Cross-country generational cohort research is scarce, and especially intra-cohort diversity is under-researched. This study offers a deep and fine-grained insight into the diversity of the Gen Z cohort across three geographical areas, based on representative samples in these areas.



Van den Bergh, J., De Pelsmacker, P. and Worsley, B. (2024), "Beyond labels: segmenting the Gen Z market for more effective marketing", Young Consumers, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 188-210.



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Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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