Brief #36: The Generation of Change


This content originally appeared October 29, 2020 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.


Welcome to issue no. 36 of Future of Marketing.

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) by marketing leaders around the globe.

This week, we’re discussing…

  • Sustainability as a priority for certain consumers
  • Big news for online commerce with TikTok and Shopify partnership
  • The Ocean Cleanup’s brilliant full circle marketing strategy

Conscious consumers have new priorities

Gen Z is gaining purchasing power and studies show this generation is prioritizing sustainability.

In fact, 76 percent of female millennials and Gen Z respondents said they would pay more for a sustainable brand when they discover it.

According to this article on Marketing Dive, Chipotle and Panera are among the latest brands to adopt sustainability measures as consumers become increasingly aware (and vocal) of the negative impact the food supply chain has on the environment.

On TikTok, #climatechange and #sustainability have over 400M and 87M views, respectively (and it seems creators are also niching down to create content within the space).

As Gen Z continues to shift into the workforce, sustainability will become increasingly critical for brands to build trust with potential buyers. 

“Brands that have not made an effort to become sustainable are going to suffer the same fate as brands that didn’t embrace the internet during the dot-com era,” shared Composed Creative. “Slow movers will spend a lot more time and money playing catch-up, and their business will suffer or go under as a result.”

But speaking of TikTok…

TikTok partnered with Shopify – and Instagram added a shop button to its navigation bar – which proves Social Commerce competition is heating up. 

“The TikTok channel means Shopify merchants—even those without a strong TikTok following of their own yet—can connect with these new audiences using content that feels authentic and genuine to the TikTok experience,” shared Satish Kanwar, Vice President of Product at Shopify. 

Both companies are also working on their first co-branded Hashtag Challenge Plus campaign, #ShopBlack, to celebrate Black-owned businesses.

What this means: 

  1. Like sustainability, inclusivity is a priority for young consumers.
  2. Strategic partnerships will be commonplace to expand reach.
  3. More brands will amplify the voices of REAL people – fans, customers, employees – to create more authentic (and inclusive) connections.
  4. Social media is shifting from being top-of-funnel to becoming the entire funnel.

What we’re learning…

  • How modern organizations are growing brand value, operational efficiency, and business impact with social media [Hootsuite]
  • The History and Future of User-Generated Content [Future of Marketing]
  • Perspectives with Simon Kopec, Social Strategy in Hospitality [Future of Marketing]
  • Michael Nadelman is back – and he says all viral content has one thing in common… [Video]

#brandcrush: The Ocean Clean Up 💘

Each week in #brandcrush we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers’ voice to connect more authentically with their audience.

The Ocean Clean Up takes sustainability to a new level – and beautifully unveiled its latest, most ambitious initiative yet… 

Sunglasses created with plastic from the Ocean.

“Proceeds of one pair of sunglasses equates to 24 football fields worth of Great Pacific garbage patches,” shared Boyan Slat (Founder and CEO). “The donation is used to clean more plastic which will create more products to clear more plastics.”

Talk about sustainability and bringing things full circle.

The Ocean Clean Up created every touchpoint with intention –the sunglasses, its packaging… even this microsite they used to reveal the product.  

On the site, the Ocean Clean Up shared a virtual presentation of Boyan Slat telling us the story, making, and purpose behind the sunglasses. 

Scroll down the site – and you’ll see The Ocean Clean Up collects user-generated content (UGC) from #TheOceanCleanUp AND repurposes it within a TINT-powered social wall embedded on the site… 

Displaying feedback and support from people all over the world in real-time.

But if you look closely at the video…

The Ocean Clean Up displays UGC on the screens behind Slat during his presentation – taking omnichannel marketing with UGC quite literally. 

From its mission to its product, packaging, and marketing…

The Ocean Clean Up used every touchpoint to tell a REAL story and bring its experience full circle.

Fun Fact:

It is five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain one.

Harvard Business Review


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