Two-thirds of Gen Z consumers in the US want to pay more for brands that have a positive impact on society

New study reveals insight into post-pandemic attitudes of Generation Z

NEW YORK, April, 27, 2022 – New proprietary research from global consumer insight agency, InSites Consulting, reveals how brands can communicate and collaborate with this hyper-informed generation. Accounting for one third of the global population, Generation Z have a collective disposable income expected to reach $33 trillion over the next decade. Brands cannot afford to ignore this generation, in fact, the future of businesses depends on them.

Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) is an activist generation, a trait which comes to the fore when making purchase decisions. In the U.S., they value brands that care about their employees (65%), care about their own values as consumers (59%) and are inclusive (61%). In fact, 62% of Gen Z in the U.S. believe that brands should help people to live a better life.

This desire to tackle social issues is also reflected in Gen Z’s purchase choices. Gen Z in the U.S. are willing to pay more for brands that are black- or female-owned. Moreover, they are willing to pay more for brands that try to have a positive impact on society (66%) and run their business in a sustainable way (60%).

Joeri Van den Bergh, NextGen expert at InSites Consulting, explains why brands should take note of this new insight into Gen Z: “This is a very important generation that will bring about change in society, not only because they want to, but because they have the skills to do so. Gen Z are much more vocal than their predecessors, but they are also vulnerable and are growing up in difficult times. They have an enormous need for guidance, especially from brands.”  Gen Z scores significantly lower on happiness indicators and 55% feels (highly) stressed which is mostly related to mental health (60%), studies or jobs (45%) or comparing themselves to others (45%).

Despite growing up against the backdrop of social upheaval and climate change, Gen Z has a more positive attitude towards brands than older generations: 79% of Baby Boomers in the US believe that brands and companies always seek to make more profit, compared to 64% of Gen Z. Even in the world of social media, this tech-savvy generation view big brands with more lenience: whilst 76% of Baby Boomers in the US believe that social media companies have too much power and influence, only 55% of Gen Z agree.

There is an opportunity for brands to collaborate with this woke generation, on their terms: Gen Z in the U.S. feel it is acceptable for social media sites and brands to use personal data to develop better products and services (50%) and service consumers better (49%). Meanwhile, 39% are willing to exchange some personal data for free services, discounts, or goodies.

Van den Bergh concludes: “The role of brands is more versatile than ever: as life coaches, as drivers of change and innovation, and as a means for Gen Z to express themselves. More than ever, brands have to stand for something meaningful and put that into practice.”

Click here to download the full report and learn how Gen Z consumers in the U.S. are already shaping future behavior and influencing brands.

Founded in 1997, InSites Consulting is a next-generation insights agency and global market leader in online communities.

Our award-winning team in New York recently joined forces with Detroit-based Gongos, Inc. a consultative agency whose mission is to reorient the relationship between customers and corporations. Supported by 800+ people across 20 offices, together we make consumer-centric decision making a reality for over a third of the world’s leading brands including Anheuser Busch, Bloomingdales, Coca-Cola, Coty, Mars, Merck, Prudential, Samsung and Vimeo.

Our insight management platform and versatile toolbox allow brands to become truly immersed in the consumer reality. By uniting brands and consumers around the world, fostering collaboration and consumer empathy, we can shape the future better, together.

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