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Gen Z and Millennials speak on the Halo Effect

The Halo Effect–when a brand wins favoritism within a subset of consumers by meaningfully championing causes, creating a brand “halo” that signals to other like-minded consumers that the brand should be trusted, valued, and most importantly, purchased. Cassandra has discussed the impact of the Halo Effect in our Safe LGBTQ+ travel Cassandra Daily and in our Entertaining The World: Ad Week Spotlight Event. Today we hear straight from Gen Z and Millennials to get their insight on the Halo Effect and more.

GEN Z AND MILLENNIALS TALK BRANDS WITH THE HALO EFFECT

Brands that champion environmental sustainability and support marginalized groups (like LGBTQ+ and people of color) are model Halo Effect recipients. But, most importantly, these brands are elevated through conversations among consumers and their friends–a strong indicator that the Halo Effect is not fleeting but instead a strong signal of burgeoning brand loyalty.

Prius [Toyota] is probably the most famous example [of the Halo Effect] ... Patagonia and Everlane are also two clothing brands that people tend to recommend because they are considered more environmentally sustainable.” - Rebecca, 25, MN


“I don't know of any in particular [brands experiencing a Halo Effect], but my friends are trying to purchase common items that they would usually purchase through big box stores through smaller, POC-owned businesses instead.” - Melissa, 23, FL


“I believe Abercrombie and Gap [have the Halo Effect] because they promote acceptance and support of LGBTQ+ and people of color.” - Robert, 26, WI

GEN Z AND MILLENNIALS CARE ABOUT MULTIPLE CAUSES

From animal rights to worker rights, Gen Z and Millennials have various causes they want to see brands act on. But, skepticism continues as consumers watch not just what brands say, but how they work to fulfill the promises they’ve made.


“A brand needs to be eco friendly, humane and inclusive for me to consider buying from it. I would like to see [more brands] support sexual assault awareness.” - Lizbeth, 16, CA


“[I would like to see more brands stand for the] labor movement… like having scholarships that support their own employees pursuing school that are ACTUALLY accessible to them. Places make scholarships available, but it's really not possible for their workers to actually do work and school at the same time.” - Rebecca, 25, MN


“[I would like to see more brands stand for] animal rights awareness.” - Shane, 29, TX

GEN Z AND MILLENNIALS LOOK FOR HELP

Guilt is felt most strongly among Gen Zs and Millennials who express that the burden of buying ethically or sustainably should not fall wholly on them. They are hopeful that the government will step in to keep corporations in check; in the meantime, they’ll continue to use research as a tool to inform and empower their purchasing behaviors.


“[I] feel awful about [my] fast fashion [purchases], but the responsibility is not something I can completely bear, especially as a young student, this is a role that the government must assign large corporations to do better with.” - Estrella, 19, CA


“I feel really guilty for all the purchases I made based on price, unaware of why it was so cheap. … It shouldn’t be this hard to find ethical brands.” - Charlotte, 14, IL


“I do not feel guilty for buying from a specific brand only because I make sure to do my research beforehand and only support businesses that are like-minded and uphold my same values.” - Daphne, 36, CA