Everyone could use a little advice. There is, however, a fine line between giving advice and preaching. When influencers first began to arise, many people ate up the seemingly fabulous lifestyle content that decorated their pages. Now, Gen Z and Millennials are tired of these “gurus” telling them how to live.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many things about society, including the divide between how brands—ever crazy about influencer marketing and hopping on trends—can sometimes be a bit tone-deaf towards their consumers. An article published by Vanity Fair details how many Instagram users highly criticized many lifestyle influencers and celebrities for sharing their quarantine lives and supposed tips on how to self-isolate, particularly when said “tips” involved fleeing to the Hamptons with your nanny after testing positive for the virus. An overwhelming 84.4 percent of Tylt voters (23 percent of whom were ages 18 to 34), believe that Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle empire, Goop, is a complete scam. It would appear, then, these public figures aren’t as generally perceived to be the “experts” they think they are.
But this trend for Gen Z and Millennials to rely more on their own, not-fancy lifestyle choices isn’t just reflected by their broader attitude towards influencers. Many approach health fads with the same disdain. Take the 56.2 percent who believe that veganism isn’t healthier for you, or the 66.1 percent that stand by old fashioned milk as opposed to alternative options. The New York Times even highlights how, in the wake of the outbreak, many health aficionados have forgone their protein bars for comfort staples such as Campbell’s Soup. This, along with how Gen Z and Millennials view impossible meat, points to a majority that largely ignores the fads, and would much rather go for more traditional, simpler choices.
At the end of the day, people would like to live their lives their own way. Companies and brands would be wise to avoid preaching what they think are the best ways of living to their consumers. Consumers will appreciate it in the long run, and return the respect to brands who respect them.