Generation Nation: The Politics That Tie and Bind the Most Divided Cohorts

This post originally appeared on the Greenbook blog.

Growing up, were you an avid collector of 8-tracks, records, cassettes, CDs, mp3s, or playlists?

With that answer in hand, it is instantly apparent to which generation you belong — Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X, or Boomer. People are significantly shaped by the era in which they are born. The technology that was available, the social and cultural events that took place, and the political actions that were taken while we were young impact who we are and how we react as consumers for life.

Should Brands Take a Stand?

Brands are increasingly wearing their politics on their sleeve. The CEO of Patagonia announced in a politically-tinged statement that the company is “giving away the $10 million in unplanned cash we saw as a result of last year’s irresponsible tax cut.” Expedia ran an ad during the 2017 US Presidential election that addressed racial prejudice. And of course, Nike ran an ad featuring ex-NFL player and current activist Colin Kaepernick who remains unsigned after kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and systematic oppression.

Why are brands doing this and how are the key generations reacting as a result? Together with generational research firm 747 Insights, Quester conducted a major study of more than 4000 Americans to find out. The research that is now available via subscription on Collaborata.

According to “Generation Nation 2019” more than half of all consumers say they are loyal to companies that make sincere efforts to support causes they care about. Nearly 60% of Millennials and Gen Z care about where brands stand on ethical and political matters. On the other hand, less than 50% of Gen X and Boomers say the same.

Put another way, compared to 37% of Gen X and 45% of Boomers, only 17% of Gen Z and 25% of Millennials don’t want brands to take a stand on political and social issues. As the younger generations express more interest in ethical causes than Gen X and Boomers, brands have no choice but to pay attention.

Please continue reading addition generational insights in this post on the Greenbook blog.

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  • As President, Tim focuses on the continuous development and marketing of Quester’s products, designs, services and partnerships. Leveraging his passion to traverse beyond the known, he is instrumental in consulting with Quester’s clients. Tim is a current Board of Director with the Marketing Research Association and serves as the Co-Chair for the Association’s Insights and Strategies Conference and Corporate Researchers Conference. Tim was adopted from Seoul, South Korea when he was five months old - for which he is eternally grateful. His amazing parents had three biological children and adopted two from South Korea. Growing up, he told his brothers and sisters that he was more loved because his parents paid for him. Tim’s wife and best friend (Kate) has the toughest job in his home. She is a talented 3rd grade teacher, loving mother to their daughter (Ella) and dog (Zoey), and keeps Tim in line. He loves the “A-ha” moment that occurs every day in research. The look in someone’s eyes, the change in the tone of their voice, and the excitement when they are on the way to finding something special.

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