Trending Now: Gen Z vs. Millennials

SponsorPulse Staff
  • August 15, 2023
  • SponsorPulse Staff
Image courtesy of Matheus G.O. via Unsplash
Among generations captivating marketers, Gen Z and Millennials dominate the consumer landscape. For brands looking to win their favor, enhanced focus must lie in understanding consumer trends among the groups and recognizing the key differences in their behavior and preferences.

In this article, we delve into the contrasting trends between Gen Z and Millennials, highlighting the unique opportunities that brands can leverage to establish meaningful connections with consumers through sponsorship.

Trending Now: Gen Z vs. Millennials

Gen Z 

Born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, Gen Z consumers have emerged as a demographic with distinct characteristics and preferences. They are digital natives who grew up in an interconnected world, shaping their consumer behavior in unique ways. Gen Z values authenticity, individuality, and social responsibility. Within the marketing world, It’s widely acknowledged that they are highly influenced by social media. 

To connect with Gen Z consumers through sponsorship, brands can consider partnering with digital properties and influencers. These partnerships enable brands to reach the cohort in their natural digital habitats, leveraging the influence of online personalities to establish authentic connections.


Born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s, Millennials have witnessed the rise of technology and experienced the transition into the digital era. They are known for being tech-savvy, socially conscious, and seeking personalized experiences. As a general rule, millennials value convenience, sustainability, and social impact.

For brands aiming to connect with Millennials through sponsorship, focusing on building relationships with experiential properties is key. At the end of the day, millennials understand that they are not defined by what they own, but by how they live their life. The generation craves unique and memorable experiences, whether it's attending music festivals, art exhibitions, or wellness retreats. And when they do purchase products? They prefer to support sustainable and transparent brands. Sponsoring events and activations that align with their interests allows brands to engage directly with this generation, fostering loyalty and building emotional connections. 

Brands That Got it Right

Gen Z


Glossier, a favorite beauty brand of Gen Z, built a powerful online presence by leveraging social media to connect with young consumers. By collaborating with popular beauty influencers and encouraging user-generated content, Glossier has created a community-driven brand that resonates with Gen Z’s desire for authenticity and peer influence. 


Adidas, on the other hand, captured Gen Z’s attention via the generation's passion for gaming and esports—of which 46% of 13-18 year olds and 44% of 19-24 year olds are engaged with based on our research. Adidas partners with esports teams and individual gamers to create limited-edition products that engage the gaming community. By aligning with digital properties and influencers in the gaming space, Adidas effectively connects with Gen Z consumers and strengthens its relevance. 



One brand that has successfully catered to Millennials is Airbnb. By offering unique and personalized travel experiences, Airbnb has tapped into Millennials' desire for authentic and local connections. Through partnerships with local communities and initiatives like Airbnb Experiences, the brand has created a platform that aligns with Millennials' values and provides them with memorable travel experiences.


Patagonia, another favorite of Millennials', captured the generation's attention through its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. The brand has embraced ethical manufacturing practices, promoted environmental activism, and established the "Worn Wear" program, encouraging customers to repair and reuse their clothing. By embodying the values important to Millennials—SponsorPulse data indicates 49% are engaged with recycling—Patagonia has cultivated a loyal customer base that appreciates the brand's authenticity and dedication to making a positive impact.

Warby Parker

Another popular brand among millennials? Eyewear company Warby Parker. Recognizing Millennials' desire for convenience, affordability, and social impact, Warby Parker revolutionized the eyewear industry by offering stylish, high-quality glasses at a fraction of the traditional retail price. The brand's online platform allowed customers to try on glasses virtually and have them delivered to their doorstep. Furthermore, for every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need. This cause-based marketing aligns with Millennials' values of sustainability and giving back, making Warby Parker a preferred choice among the generation.

Build Lasting Connections with SponsorPulse

Understanding the differences in consumer trends between Gen Z and Millennials is vital for brands aiming to connect with these generations. By aligning with the right property types, brands can effectively communicate their values, create memorable experiences, and build lasting connections with these influential consumer groups.

Create your free SponsorPulse account today to get started.