In conversation with

Jay Richards

Co-founder of Imagen Insights

Jay Richards Gen Z Insights



Gen Z are a generation growing up with information overload, high internet consumption and rapidly moving trends all these things have meant they’ve been misconstrued as know-it-alls, technology addicts and hard to please.

Jay co-founded Imagen Insights to dispel these myths and give brands unfiltered insight from this misunderstood demographic. We spoke to Jay about what brands need to be doing to adapt to Gen Z audiences, the qualities that appeal to this generation of consumers and how Imagen Insights is helping both parties shape the world around them.

Question and Answer

Imagen works with Gen Z insights by building a global community of 16-26 year-olds. How do you engage and motivate your community, beyond paying them for ideas?

Beyond paying them for their insights, we give our community a paragraph regarding their briefs with us, that they can add to their CV. One community member spoke passionately about her work with Imagen Insights and believes it helped support her application to Oxford University.

In addition to this, our company ethos is all around helping provide young people with opportunities to shape their futures, so we run a series of free events for our Gen Z community monthly. We host upskilling workshops, CV clinics and entrepreneurship power sessions with both myself and my co-founder Cat Agostinho.

What are some of the brands that you’ve found Gen Z respond particularly well to?

Gen Z engage with brands who first and foremost are authentic, engage in conversation with them and are transparent. When we speak with our community there are always brands that come up trumps in these areas. The likes of Fenty, We Are Tala and Nike are super popular amongst the Gen Z cohort – I really think it’s because these brands not only know their audiences, but they listen and co-create with them too.

“By providing brutally honest insights to brands directly from Gen Z, young people then have a say in what the society and culture around them looks like.”

One of your taglines is ‘Changing the world in a Gen Z way’. What does ‘in a Gen Z way’ mean to you?

For me, this quote is pivotal to everything we are working on. It’s about giving Gen Z a voice to help shape their futures and we know this is best done with brands. By providing brutally honest insights to brands directly from Gen Z, young people then have a say in what the society and culture around them looks like.

How can Imagen Insights help brands with reaching Gen Z?

Our work is really broad. We crowdsource qualitative and quantitative feedback, plus ideas and insights from our community within 72 hours, which in turn enables our clients to build their branding, marketing and/or their products in a way that truly involves their target audience.

The work we do and insights we can gain from our community really has no limits. We’re able to get brutally honest insights on a broad range of needs, including brand perception, new product development, A/B creative testing and campaign ideation.

Jay and Cat Co-founders of Imagen Insights
Jay and Cat, Co-founders of Imagen Insights

How do you think brands need to adapt for this next generation of consumers?

Gen Z are digital natives, activists, tastemakers, entrepreneurs and co-creators and their opinions count. It’s vital to make sure your brand is ahead of the curve and driving trends when targeting this demographic as their purchasing power is set to increase to a monumental 4.4 trillion dollars by 2030.

Listening to them and co-creating with them is key to brand success with this covetable demographic.

Name three myths about Gen Z that you’d like to dispel.

That they’re demanding in the workplace

We have Gen Z employees in both our internal team and our community and I can tell you they’re some of the most driven, strategic thinking individuals I’ve ever met. They’re not afraid of hard work, but they have their work/life harmony priorities straight – I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

That they have no money 

Given the nature of the world we’re living in and their age bracket, so many brands think they don’t have much money as a whole – but actually they’re already purchasing designer goods. A lot of them have stayed living at home due to the pandemic which means their disposable income has allowed for more spending than that of the renting millennial generation that preceded them.

That they all think the same!

Now it sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but what I’m saying is that Gen Z is the most diverse demographic there has ever been. You can’t approach all of them in the same way. It’s about finding your tribe as a brand and tapping into their passion points. Our community is unquestionably diverse beyond the metrics spoken about day to day and it’s important that brands have a range of feedback and insights from a diversity of thought.

The Storylist

Jay's Storylist


  1. Will by Will Smith


  1. Inc. Magazine


  1. The Hustle


  1. Wisdom with Guy Razfrom the Top
  2. High Performance
  3. Imagen This

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