The Unforeseen (and Powerful) Consequence of Full-Employment
We’ve done a remarkable amount of work during the past decade on the topic of altruism, particularly corporate altruism. The twin motives catalyzing these studies have been clear:
· The share and margin erosion suffered by leading brands watching better-for-the-world brands grow and maintain their price points
· The belief that millennials prefer brands which commit to do well by doing good
Our work has gotten under the hood of the first point, deconstructing why genuinely altruistic brands seemingly compel loyalty and evangelism. However, we believe the attraction to these platforms is a post-generational/post-segmentation appeal.
In the past several weeks, we’ve experienced two additive market factors undergirding the power of better-for-the-world propositions:
· Gen Z is here, and they are demanding, fearless, visionary cohort, unwilling to settle for world-weary, cynical pabulum
· There’s an unforeseen consequence of a full-employment economy: The best people like to work for best-for-the-world companies
Can it be merely that the culture has reached a tipping point, after years and years of child carnage unleashed by weapons of war? Is that the sole rationale to explain Dick’s, Walmart and Kroger’s coalescing into a remarkable confederation of business backbones? Or that Delta, United, Hertz, Enterprise, Avis and more have waded into the fray? Might it be that big brands understand the emerging economic power of Gen Z and its brook-no-excuses world view?
Surely, but we think there’s that fourth factor: Unforeseen consequences of a full-employment economy. Gen Z’s worldview is now coupled inexorably to their parents; parents who work for these companies, by the millions. By taking the steps necessary to ensure we lose no more children to gunfire, might these firms also ensure they retain employees proud of that stance?
There’s a new economic reality slouching towards us. Gen Z demands to live. Their parents demand to work at companies that allow them to live with themselves. In a full-employment economy, they just may be heard.