Together we are a force for change and each generation group is bringing their own superpower to the table. Let’s see how each cluster individually helps to save the planet while purchasing their outfit for a climate of action party.
The Unbridled Baby Boomer
Bringing back the beatniks and the hippies, they are returning to the “don’t tread on me” movement from the 60s. They broke through previous generations with TV, Vietnam, and Disco. They are the fixed income now generation. Contradicting popular belief, over two-thirds of Baby Boomers are online and use Facebook and YouTube. Source: United States; Pew Research Center; January 3-10, 2018; total survey n = 2,002; 50 to 64 years. Baby Boomers perform a significant portion of volunteer work here in the USA, which means at the atomic level of environmental action—cleaning riverbanks, scrubbing bird feathers, rescuing sea turtles—is often in the hands of older adults, source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Leading Gen X-ers
Gen X now accounts for 51 percent of leadership roles globally, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/generation-x–not-millennials–is-changing-the-nature-of-work.html. Gen X leaders’ strength for working with and through others is enabling them to shape the future of work and generate faster innovation by getting people working together to solve customers’ and their organization’s issues. They are brand loyalists and evangelists. They were the first wave of digital. Capitalizing on BlackRock Investments is the new cool! Gen X has more spending power than any other generation.
The Social Gen Y-ers (millennials)
The first digital natives to adorn their social activism on mobile phones. They are the connected generation of curated influencers. With social media, they learned that they can connect and share information globally almost immediately. Gen y still follows their friends on social media. They dress for a climate of recycling, reuse, and reclaim. Adorning the re-invention of hipster permaculture, farm to table, and globalization. Their dot coms are now building their homes to nest in. They venture out more for the experience and less for the extreme. They are born of the curated digital content generation and they have paved the way to action for Gen Z-ers. Sustainability and preservation were born from millennial mantras.
According to the Nielsen Foundation, millennials say sustainable is a shopping priority. With the rise of technology and social networks, Gen Z is the center of the sustainable party. Millennials continue to be most willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings. Gen Y-ers are brand agnostic and rely on digital brand reviews for best performance for the value.
The Authentic and Unfiltered Gen Z-er
Gen Z-ers are unfiltered and uncurated and they wear a climate now education later frock. Growing up in the world of influencers, Generation Z-ers have a direct social media line to how entrepreneurs and activists live their lives, and they want an immediate piece of it. With their tech-heavy skills and their burning platform to save the planet, they are petitioning their parents for a gap year or to use their college savings for business start-ups, and recently we’ve seen some of them winning on the support front.
Gen Z is leapfrogging ahead to the action. With young rising stars like Boyan Slat, who at 18 designed and has deployed the world’s largest ocean cleanup in history and along the way founded a $31.5 million dollar nonprofit organization called Ocean Cleanup. Or the pigtailed thirteen-year-old Greta Thurnberg who recently took on the #COP24 Climate Conference in Poland asking the United Nations assembly “why they did not do anything while there is still time to act” gen z’s peers are challenging traditions.
Gen Z-ers rely as much on the brand experience as they do brand quality and loyalty. From the IBM Institute of Business Value and the National Retail Federation – 44 percent saying they’d be interested in submitting ideas for product designs, 42 percent would participate in an online game for a brand campaign, 38 percent would attend an event sponsored by a brand, and 36 percent would create digital content for a brand. They are driven by short clip video feeds, augmented reality memes and pet avatars and prefer experience over product.
The GAP On Sustainability
Source: Fast Company – Nearly 40% of millennials have chosen a job because of company sustainability. Less than a quarter of Gen X respondents said the same, and 17% of baby boomers.
The similarity of career goals
Source: IBM Institute for Business Value – 25% of Gen Y, 21% of gen X, and 23% of baby boomers said they want to make a positive impact on my organization. And, 22% of Gen Y, 20% of Gen X, and 24% of baby boomers indicated they would like to help solve social and/or environmental challenges.
The force for change, a new type of brand:
Loge Camps – Hotels that get your outdoors, experience over brand.
Toad and Co – Sustainable, organic, and eco-friendly clothing with a conscience.
Tentrees – Clothing designed for a healthy, sustainable world.
Sole – Improving health and wellness and giving back 1% to the planet.
Differences in consumption attitudes:
Seventy-five percent of Generation X respondents reported behaviors of selective collection of paper waste, 71% separately collect plastic waste, 59% bring used batteries to special collection centers, 34% take used light bulbs at a special recycling centers and 32% share the car with other colleagues when going to work.
Generation Y is behind Generation X with regard to ecologic activities, but we expect a more pronounced ecologic behavior once they become older. This trend is not in accordance with the behavior of Ys in the West, where Ys are more expected to establish the trend and adopt ecological behaviors.
The people in Generation Z score the most at commuting to school or work with public transport, but this behavior is most probably due to the lack of financial resources required for buying a personal car, rather than an ecological reason. Source: MDPI Sustainability
Bottom line – digital ad spending at 88 Billion just overtook television ad spending and everyone who is cool is looking for the experience, not a product.