The Great Resocialization: New Consumer Zeitgeist

In this video, Ashley Piper explains the changing consumer patterns triggered by Millennials and Gen Zs.

At this year’s Sustainability Symposium 2023: The Great Conversion, sustainability expert Ashlee Piper explored the transformation that is taking place in the consumer psyche, and how businesses can effectively reach the growing number of consumers who are committed to 'buying less and buying better.'


Supply chain issues, economic uncertainty, and our urgent sustainability needs have created a new sense of measured consumerism, she explains. Younger generations are embracing movements like ‘buy one thing’ and ‘don’t buy this jacket,’ calling for a systemic restructuring of the economy with equality and justice in mind. 

Getting Real

Young people insist on a new status quo, breaking free from antiquated and destructive ideas about how we live and consume things.

As a best-selling author, cabinet-level advisor, political strategist and professor of marketing for environmental, Piper has studied data surrounding Millennial and Gen Z purchasing behaviors. She understands how these cohorts determine the quality and value of products. There’s a special way to market sustainability to these mold-breaking generations and emerging consumers. They see through falsehood and greenwashing. 

In the past, companies were not seen as social participants, Piper says, but no more. They must build trust. “Go above and beyond what is required, and engage with reputable third-party organizations,” she pushes, and “then find ways to communicate that you are doing that, because you care, and not because you have to.”

Additionally, Piper advises companies to “be relatable – humanness and vulnerability are important.” Gen Zs and Millennials are “okay with companies messing up. but in an appropriate way of acknowledging it and saying what they are going to do better.”

From the Source

You can watch Piper’s recorded session to learn about problems with past marketing techniques, the shift in values and needs of younger generations and what you can do now to be a more responsible organization.

Click here for more information about Green Builder Media’s Sustainability Symposium.

A heartfelt thank you to Trane Technologies and Whirlpool Corporation for their continued support of our annual Sustainability Symposium, as well as their total commitment to corporate sustainability. 

2024 Sustainability Symposium

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