< Journal
03rd March 2022

Are the ‘Woke’ generation actually spending more than other generations?

Are the ‘Woke’ generation actually spending more than other generations?

In short, yes. It’s no surprise that Gen Z and Millennials are spending more than ever on everything; from clothes, to cars to tech. However, these generations are different from previous generations.

Whether it be the impact of the pandemic, or the increased awareness on just how rapidly our planet is becoming endangered, their buyer behavior and purchasing power has shifted. That’s because their priorities have shifted to wanting to spend money on brands that are relatable, transparent, demonstrate authenticity and take social responsibility seriously.

Firstly, what does being ‘woke’ actually mean?

“In order to keep up with this shift in national spending habits, brands must be ‘woke’ towards what the younger generation is passionate about. The term ‘woke’ refers to a perceived awareness of social and environmental matters such as #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, and #timesup.” – NuORDER.

When relating this to the marketing world, your company would be considered woke if your brand messaging is tailored towards social and political issues that Gen X / Millennial generations are passionate about. The most commonly adopted ways for brands to demonstrate that they truly have woke values are through social media campaigns, donating sales to ‘woke’ causes, advertising and public statements in the press.

Being a ‘sustainable brand’ just isn’t enough to just check the boxes anymore. Over two-thirds of consumers worldwide would actually switch brands if they weren’t in line with their point of view on controversial topics.

This highlights the significant buying power customers believe they have when choosing a brand to buy from – they’ll choose another brand that supports their values & beliefs. 

Not only that, but customers are buying from brands who get comfortable with uncomfortable topics, and throw themselves into the controversy. Brands are realizing this is the only way to persuade the younger audience to buy from you / increase brand loyalty. We know it’s not easy out there – to even be considered in today’s tech-centered and social media-driven world, you have to know your audience; get to know what’s important to them, so that you continue to resonate with each other. 

Whatever you stand for, just make sure it’s one thing: authentic.

You’re not the only brand that’s holding a mirror up to themselves right now. Whatever the reflection is telling you to do, ensure that it comes from an authentic place that’s inline with your company’s purpose and the story you’ve been telling the world. An immediate 180 ‘change of heart’ will backfire on you, and your brand will be closer to being cancelled than crowned ‘woke’. Don’t let that be your brand! Embed these values into the core of your brand and all marketing comms will be backed in foundational truth. And lucky for you, this is something we love to do for our clients.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t just on a B2C level. Ask your team, what can you do to improve your supply chain and/or wholesale partnerships? Your brand story and reason from being in business needs to be reflected not just marketing comms seen by customers, it needs to be rooted into your company at an operational level too. Many companies are going as far to becoming B-corps, such as All Birds and Athleta to name a few. This sends a clear message to your audience that you mean business. 

The take home

Don’t take our word for it, here are some stats to further solidify the how important it is to understand who your customers are and what what they value: 

  • 3 in 4 prefer to buy from companies that share their personal values
  • 56% would be loyal to a brand for life if there’s complete transparency
  • 73% believe brands should do more than generate a profit
  • 8 of 10 say authenticity is important when choosing brands 

We’re a team of experts, who help brands embrace and define their company values and unlock their brand purpose. Do you need to revisit your brand foundations to ensure your brand resonates with a Gen Z audience? No problem. Our team gets under the skin of your brand, and most importantly your audience, to ensure we’re building a brand that’s designed for the future. We know how to do that, because we know who we’re talking to. 

Get in touch with us to find out more.


Author: Nicole Levings