Beyond Millennials: Rise of the Cybrids

Posted by Caroline Giraldo on Apr 21, 2015 12:38:00 PM

On March 25, Fashion News Workshop and Trends held an event at LIM College featuring Erica Orange, the Executive Vice President at Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc., “a leading futurist consulting group, formed in 1977, that helps their clients to identify trends and opportunities in the areas of marketing, product development, strategic planning, investments, human resources, public affairs and advertising.”

The event was kicked off by Ruth Finley’s introduction of Erica Orange. Ms. Finley is the founder and publisher of Fashion Calendar, a subscription service recently acquired by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Orange addressed the characteristics that are currently defining Generation Z, what she refers to as the Cybrids—cyber hybrids. These individuals have developed a symbiotic relationship with technology due to the hands-off approach of their parents (versus the hovering technique of millennial parents). In addition, Cybrids are also financially conservative, socially liberal, and highly entrepreneurial.

Her group has determined that these characteristics are due to the collective speeding up of time and technology.

“People are no longer living one linear life,” she said. Households are increasingly multi-generational because sons and daughters are moving out later. The retirement age is going up and many adults that are already retired are returning to work. Even online, there are various “lives,” virtual, real, and digital.


They are also seeing “collaborative consumption” develop into what they call a “shareconomy,” a decrease in ownership due to an increase in access, that is dramatically creating a market for new services like Uber, Airbnb, and Rent the Runway. These new services are appealing to Cybrids because they are accessing products and services without the need to own them. Cybrids would rather spend their money on higher quality food (organic/sustainable) and experiences, as opposed to individually expensive items.


Finally, Erica emphasized that the key to reaching Cybrids is understanding that “technology is literally rewiring their brains.” Cybrids are well aware of how companies gather data, and they are criticized for underperforming in schools. However, the rewiring of their brains does not mean that they are incapable of learning, or being marketed to, but rather that our typical models of education and individual marketing will need to be revamped.

Most Popular