In a social-first world, people are feeling an intense urgency for action that makes progress against the most pressing issues of our time — issues mounting in number, intensity, and seemingly on their doorstep, raising the stakes for brands to act.

No generation feels this sense of responsibility and urgency more than Gen Z as they are fighting for their future.  Their cultural impact wields tremendous influence over every other generation, not just in what we buy but in how we live and what we believe.

As brands navigate the present and plan for the future, this new cascade of influence changes the way brands and business must operate.


Special Report: The New Cascade of Influence


expect a brand’s stand on important issues to be visible at the point of transaction


will stop buying a brand if they don’t trust its company



Gen Z influences older generations on


What they buy



How they support causes


Workplace culture


Financial behavior


Earning Trust through the Cascade of Influence


Lean Into Gen Z’s Gravitational Pull

Gen Z is the tipping point for action. If you can activate them, you can shape behavior of all.



Build Inside-Out Activism

Brands are shaped as much by employee culture as consumer demand.



CMO's are Trust Catalysts

Marketing isn’t vertical, it’s horizontal.



Action Earns Trust

Brands can’t just talk anymore – they must act to earn trust and influence.


More Insights

The Gravitational Force of Gen Z

Richard Edelman, CEO

Edelman has been following brand trust for the past six years. Our most important finding is the emergence of belief-driven buying, with nearly two-thirds of consumers today buying or advocating for brands based on their values.

Read More

Here Come the ‘ZEOs'

Business of Fashion

We tapped the gender-fluid designer Harris Reed to help lead our “Gen Z Lab,” part-consultancy, part-data hub, to better understand the next generation of consumers.

Read More



This survey was fielded between May 13 and May 24, 2022, with an additional online youth survey conducted between May 13 and June 6, 2022.




Respondents (age 18+)


Respondents (age 14-17)


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