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  • Writer's pictureAnja Dalby

The Evil Banana: The importance of ethical brands

Once upon a time, a banana company was in a lot of trouble. Like, a lot-lot. They had managed to get themselves associated with just about every kind of atrocity one can possibly imagine: overthrowing a democratically elected government, a military-supported massacre of its very own plantation workers protesting for better conditions, supporting a global terrorist organization - the list goes on and on. In fact, this company is the very reason the term “banana republic” came to exist; to describe countries where foreign corporations held significant sway over local governments. 

They solved the issue with their bleak reputation by rebranding under a new name and engaging in massive marketing campaigns to convince consumers that they had cleaned up their act. 

Would it have worked today? Perhaps, but it certainly will not work tomorrow. The newest generations - Gen Z (Zoomers) and Gen A (Alphas) - are much less tolerant of unethical business practices and will have none of it from the corporations behind the products and services they use. In the eyes of Zoomers and Alphas, a brand's ethical stance is as integral as its product offerings. As they continue to demand change and accountability, businesses that heed this message will thrive, while those that ignore it may find themselves in the shadows – a cautionary tale for brands as we rapidly head towards the future. 

Here are some examples of what they want:

  • Sustainable Sourcing: Zoomers and Alphas are highly attuned to environmental issues. Brands that prioritize sustainable sourcing of materials and products not only contribute to a greener planet but also appeal to the eco-conscious sensibilities of these generations.

  • Inclusive Representation: Diversity and inclusivity are major values for both generations. Brands that authentically showcase diversity in their marketing campaigns, leadership teams, and product offerings resonate deeply with these generations.

  • Tech Transparency: With digital prowess, these cohorts value transparency in data usage and privacy. Brands that are upfront about their data practices and prioritize cyber-security earn the trust of Zoomers and Alphas.

  • Cause-Driven Engagement: Our newest generations of consumer gravitate towards brands that are committed to social causes. Aligning with a cause, whether through charitable initiatives or advocacy, not only improves brand image but also garners support from socially conscious consumers.

  • Ethical Storytelling: Engaging narratives about a brand's journey towards ethical practices can captivate Zoomers and Alphas. Sharing stories about overcoming challenges and making positive changes adds authenticity to the brand's image.

Interesting facts about Zoomers and Alphas:

  • 66% of Alphas prefer to buy from companies that make a positive difference in the world

  • 57% of Zoomers want companies to take a stance on social issues, specifically racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, gender inequality, and climate change

  • 65% of Gen Alphas will work in jobs that don’t exist today

  • Zoomers consider themselves more accepting and open-minded than any generation before it. 48% - almost half - of Zoomers are minorities

  • 67% of Alphas say they want to have a career that helps save the planet

  • 81% of Zoomer workers want to be able to choose when and where they work

Are you thinking that Alphas are “just kids” and won’t have any significant impact for yet a couple of decades? Think again; they are the largest generation ever born (2.2 billion by 2024), and the first batch is entering the workforce by 2030. 

Social media trends for Alphas and Zoomers:

  • TikTok is steadily taking over as their preferred search engine over Google

  • They do not have Facebook accounts 

  • They prefer TikTok over Instagram


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