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Brief Published: 22 Jul 2016

How to Engage Changemakers

Gen Z and millennials place value on sustainability, reduced consumption and products that last

Sustained global instability and public debate about environmental protection are driving consumers to buy from brands perceived to champion social causes or green initiatives, according to Daphne Kasriel-Alexander, consumer trends consultant at global market research group Euromonitor. 

“Right now, more people are comfortable being vocal about campaigns that move them. Campaigns are more visible and [show a] desire to appeal to this changemaker sensibility,” Kasriel-Alexander said in a podcast the company released earlier this week. 

This emerging consumer mindset – most common among Gen Z (aged six to 21) and millennials (aged 22-35) – places value on sustainability, reduced consumption and products that last. 

“We’re seeing a broader rejection of consumption as merely the acquisition of more products,” said Kasriel-Alexander. She highlighted Buy Me Once as an example of a company that is meeting this need – the website spotlights products that “don't break the bank, don't break the planet [and] that don't break at all”, according to founder Tara Button. 

Similarly, Kasriel-Alexander noted DKMS as an example of a charity that is capturing the changemaker audience with its ads. Its latest ads “promise positive impacts and a transformative opportunity – ‘you can delete blood cancer for someone’,” said Kasriel-Alexander.

For more ways to engage the post-aspirational consumer, see Marketing Imperfection and Simplicity Strategies. Our Next-Gen Activists report, coming out next week, takes a closer look at how to connect with consumer groups that have been motivated to take action on social and environmental issues.

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