Get ready for Gen Z

Get ready for Gen Z

In a competitive landscape, marketing is the art of creating something that gets you notice. In upper education, only 14 schools get to be in the Big Ten (which in itself is strange); the rest of the colleges in those areas have to find ways to attract notice from students outside their areas.

One of the most fun and ingenious marketing ideas is Beloit College’s Mindset List. In 1999, the small liberal arts school in Wisconsin began publishing an annual compilation of the values that shape the worldview of students entering the college as 18-year-olds. It’s a way to remind professors to watch their references with freshmen.

The Class of 2021 Mindset List was released Aug. 22 and it’s filled with its usual combination of trivia. For example:

  • This year’s incoming freshmen are the last class to be born in the 1900s – the last of the millennials. Next year comes Generation Z.
  • They have always had eHarmony to turn to for dating happiness.
  • They have always been able to turn to a Monster for a job.
  • There have always been emojis to cheer them up.
  • Amazon has always been an efficient shopping option.
  • Dora the Explorer has always been looking for something.
  • Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton’s aging husband.
  • They’ve never heard the high-pitched whine of a dial-up modem.
  • Ketchup has always come in green.

The Mindset List has been featured on the NBC Nightly News and in Time magazine. Thanks to the list, Beloit College, a school of about 1,300 students, becomes part of the national conversation each year. What can be your Mindset List?