Communicating with Generations Z and X in Hong Kong today


Hong Kong has gone through three years of unprecedented change. From social unrest in 2019 immediately followed by a global pandemic, the people of Hong Kong have experienced a period of shock and changes and are now at the crossroads as they contemplate the city's future.

At Edelman, we have chosen to explore the different questions and themes impacting consumer engagement and sentiment and as fieldwork progressed, it led us to take a closer look at Hong Kong's Generation Z and Generation X and how although similar, some of their values were clearly in opposition.

Why did we do this study?

Gen Z have been widely studied worldwide but we hypothesized that the cohort in Hong Kong will be somewhat different than their global peers having been on the front lines of social unrest in the city. Are they more driven to create impact for social causes, or as outspoken about brand behavior?

As for Gen X, we realized there’s not been much research on them. Now in their 40s and 50s, they are among the wealthiest in the city. Having lived through the economic booms and busts of Hong Kong, we wanted to understand how they see the city’s changes. Many of them are also the parents of Gen Z.

What did we find out?

The report explored the diverging views of the two generations on a variety of topics, including values, money, career, and media.


Gen Z grew up in relative economic comfort with many opportunities to develop their interests and skills.

As digital natives, they are confident self-learners and believe success is being able to pursue personal passions and do things their way.



They seek novelty and do not easily subscribe to brand loyalty.


It’s hard to convince them to purchase just with brand reputation and advertising. Product fit and functionality are more important factors.



On the other hand, Gen X had humble upbringings and were often left to their own devices growing up.

They benefited from Hong Kong’s economy boom and believe in the value of consistent hard work.



Their ethics lead them to seek the familiar and put trust in reliable brand names.

To them, a strong brand is the one has a proven track record and is reputable within their social circle.


What can brands and employers do?

With Gen Z on a journey of self-actualization through constant learning and Gen X being practical spenders who prize reliability and loyalty, how each of them value and connect with brands is completely different. Brands should take a tailored approach and use different key messages when engaging the two cohorts to meet their needs.

For an employer, the difference in values and priorities in career growth means it is important to remain proactive in mitigating inter-gen conflicts to reap the benefits of generational diversity.

Download the Report