Gen Z is slightly less concerned than any other generation about buying from brands that reflect their social values, according to December 2022 data from Morning Consult. This goes against the perception that Gen Z prioritizes social values more than older consumers. But the younger generation’s values are distinct.
Conflicting values: CivicScience data from early last year suggests Gen Z does prioritize brand values.
Gen Zers have different priorities than older generations, though they may still be inclined to spend regardless of if brands can meet those values.
Breaking that down: Older adults are more inclined to buy from brands that support the US military, while Gen Z is inclined to seek brands that support the Black Lives Matter movement and advocate for abortion access. Gen Z cares less than older generations do about companies operating in a repressive country, and less about global politics at large, according to Morning Consult.
Gen Z came of age alongside the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 and the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. It’s no surprise their social values reflect that experience. But it’s interesting that their spending habits may not.
Why might Gen Z care less about ethical consumerism? One simple answer is spending power.
Another possibility? Gen Z doesn’t trust companies to behave ethically.
But keep in mind, most Gen Zers still prioritize ethical brands. This data isn’t an excuse to throw social values out the window. But as Gen Z’s spending power increases, companies should take a look at how younger people’s priorities focus more on anti-racism, abortion rights, and domestic issues than older generations do.
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