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Interview: How Two Sisters are Changing the Way Businesses See Gen Z

Ella and Peyton Verhoeven are just any two sisters from Toronto, Ontario. They’re both busy with school, and heavily involved in the arts, that is, when they’re not working together to run their own business. The Verhoeven sisters are passionate and driven to change the way that the corporate world sees Generation Z, with their company ThinkGenZ.

Ella (17) left and Peyton (13) right. (Image via ThinkGenZ)

The Verhoeven sisters talk with Affinity Magazine about their experience as young, female entrepreneurs, and how you can get involved in helping them on their mission.

What is ThinkGenZ?

Ella Verhoeven: ThinkGenZ is a consultancy that helps heighten the awareness about our generation, Generation Z, and provides consumer insights to Canadian companies.

Peyton Verhoeven: Our mission is to provide professional consulting and rich authentic consumer insights to help companies learn and appeal to our fast emerging post-millennial generation.

What inspired you to create a startup?

PV: After discovering that many brands didn’t understand our needs, we decided to launch our own startup.

EV: We realized that a lot of businesses were out of touch. Campaigns would use dated language trying to be hip, it was “cringey”.

What is it like being a young entrepreneur?

EV: It is really powerful being passionate about this. After having a meeting with our first client Oxford Properties [specifically Toronto’s Yorkdale mall], we feel like they really were able to benefit from hearing from us.

PV: It’s quite empowering at such a young age doing such a hard job for profit. I feel like a more confident person, and aware of the workforce. I think my favourite part has been creating the business and the website and the logos, I’ve really enjoyed the creative aspect.

What kind of services do you offer?

PV: We consult clients, prepare consumer insights and do presentations.

EV: Each one is explained on our website. We also do blog posts on relevant information about Gen Z.

Tell us about your network of Gen Z’eders, and how other young people can get involved.

EV: I was just about to tell you about that! We regularly poll information from our network of Gen Z’eders, which has now grown to close to two hundred people. It has been a challenge to establish and lead our network though, definitely the hardest part of our journey so far. They are people who we have reached out to help our understanding of Gen Z.

PV: The network is people aged 13-23, generally from the GTA [the Greater Toronto Area], though we are hoping to expand this. We personalize the information and surveys that we give to our network, to help companies understand us better.

What have you done in your most recent initiative?

PV: For Yorkdale, we did polls about gift giving and gift cards, as well as online or in-person shopping.

EV: Those polls, are used in presentations. Polls are better than surveys, for Generation Z.

PV: Because Generation Z has an eight-second attention span. So when we get into doing surveys it is too long, polls give us faster data. We do them mostly on our Instagram.

What are your goals for 2019? Where do you see things going for your business in the future?

EV: Generation Z tops the list of “Big Ideas” by Linkedin and Forbes for 2019. We want to attract as many clients as we can this year. We have a few things up our sleeves, we want to keep generating awareness and building our network of Gen Z’eders.

If you’d like to follow ThinkGenZ and know more about them, the company has two Instagram accounts one specifically made for the network of Gen Z’eders:

Think Gen Z Network

Think Gen Z

If you are interested in joining the network of Gen Z’eders, sign up here.

Featured Image via ThinkGenZ

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Written By

Sarah Abernethy is a seventeen year old writer from Toronto, Canada.

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