A new study published by the International Trademark Association (INTA) showed 79 percent of 18-23-year-olds surveyed bought a fake version of a branded product in the year prior to the study, and only 48 percent believed it was morally wrong to buy a counterfeit. Having surveyed 4,500 people in 10 countries, the report also showed that young people expect brands to align with and reflect their own morals and values.

With that in mind, one particular session at INTA: Brand meaning and valuation in the age of millennial consumerism, could offer remedies to these sentiments by connecting the two.

The session, headed by a diverse panel of four, first broke down the predilictions of these gen zs and millennials. “Over half of millennials read the label and look for sustainability,” says Carol Gustalder from Heart + Minds Strategies. Young people are considerably more likely to be conscious of the companies they buy from, and it is reflected in their buying habits.

So how do brands attain this good faith? “Brands will have to consider their corporate social responsibility to create this connection with the younger generation,” says Andrea Gerosa from ThinkYoung ASIBL. The session went on to highlight how building good faith in brands, through the preferred method of communication for this demographic (social media), could resonate with younger demographics.

“Gen z, who are more focused on saving money, might be susceptible to buying counterfeits.” Says David Haas of Stout. The session, with its focus on millennials and gen z, did not try to address the lack of income issue of buying fakes, as indicated in the study, but posed that companies that actively foster a good image could encourage more buying from the authentic source.

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