Finding a gift for Gen Zs is an oft-confusing and stressful task for other generations that are not as in tune with digital trends. However, zoomer preferences point to unique experiences and value-oriented gifts — such as web3 assets and investments in coral reefs — as key.
October 11, 2022. Gen Z — the generation born between 1997 and 2012 — is generally a tough age range to shop for, especially for older cohorts that may not be in tune with TikTok trends.
While shopping for younger children has remained intuitive for most gift-givers, zoomers on the cusp of adulthood are still discovering who they are, making it difficult to find the perfect present at times. However, their preference for digital friendships and online communities suggests an openness to trends, future technology, and unique items.
Below is a list of five unique gift ideas most likely to impress Gen Z.
Candles — the new-age postcards
Above all, zoomers value intention and thoughtfulness in gift-giving. As such, the best gifts for them are accompanied by some sort of message that makes it clear why an item was specifically chosen for them. One way to do this is to make the classic gift of a scented candle more exciting by implanting a secret message within it.
As the wax — preferably made from soy or other sustainable alternatives — heats up, an inside joke or phrase imprinted on the glass or implanted in beads is revealed, adding some cheerful anticipation to the oft-expected gift.
Preference for value-driven presents
Instead of standard gifts such as perfume kits or clothing store gift cards, Gen Zs prefer gifts that align with their real-life values. In line with most 18-22 year-olds listing climate change as their number one concern for the future, a green-minded gift may be the best way to offer something that is both personal and impactful.
For example, the “Gift a Reef” project leverages donations to create coral reef ecosystems in hurricane-affected locations. For every 25 USD donation, a Coral Reef Garden is inserted into critical areas of the ocean, with the recipient receiving a customized e-card to commemorate the occasion.
Portable memories that last forever
Though Gen Z is the most digitally-influenced generation thus far, experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic have raised the tendency towards physical items — this can be seen in the growing popularity of printed books over e-readers and the comeback of vinyl players.
A meaningful way to encapsulate a shared memory between gifter and giftee are customizable flipbooks. Brands like Flipboku can convert a simple video into an everlasting, charming and sentimental item, which could include innovative features like Augmented Reality messages embedded in the flipbook or interactive content such as puzzles.
Gifts from web3
Zoomers are a digitally-native generation, meaning gifts are now more often exchanged and kept online. According to Rūta Turskytė, marketing lead at Not A Boring Gift — the first-ever web3 gift shop — Gen Z individuals are more financially sophisticated than previous generations of the same age due to the amount of information available on social media.
“One of the core Gen Z characteristics is being anchored to the search for truth. For this reason and because zoomers truly live and breathe virtual life, social cause-driven NFT and Crypto communities are close to their understanding of the world. As youngsters are tech savvy but not financially stable enough, cryptocurrencies become a great gift for any occasion,” explained Turskytė.
On Not A Boring Gift, users can purchase NFTs and cryptocurrencies using a credit card and send them to the recipient via e-mail. This lowers the knowledge barrier needed to enter the world of blockchain and streamlines the usually burdensome process of creating a digital wallet, and purchasing cryptocurrency.
Comfort and customization are key
Gen Zs experience with the pandemic has placed more focus on “comfort” items since many tend to spend more time in bed and at home. Cozy, handmade, and sentimental items that make home spaces more livable are sure to be a big hit with younger audiences.
A quirky example of such a gift is custom stuffed animals by Cuddle Clones, which can be made in the image of a beloved pet based on a picture and a short description of their character. In addition, meals are donated to small-scale animal shelters from each purchase, reinforcing the concept of value-driven gifts.