Five trends shaping the way brands and consumers look at money

min read
May 25, 2023

By Adam Meyerhoff, strategy director

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Money is a powerful force. It lives deep in our emotional subconscious and governs almost every aspect of our lives. Money determines how long we live, how much freedom we have, who we interact with, how we travel, and even our beliefs. Money is also taking on new meaning and forms as we will explore in PETERMAYER’s upcoming webinar, “Our New Relationship with Money,” on June 14.  

Five lifestyle trends signal that people are embracing unprecedented openness and dialogue around their personal finances. Some brands are capitalizing on these new moments and connections, offering incentives like free counseling, education seminars, advice, and unique saving tips intended to help us save better and live within our means.  

  1. Permacrisis Planning

Americans are more anxious about their financial situation, living from one financial crisis to another. Interest rates keep rising, our government can’t agree on how to pay its bills, and younger generations are delaying many life-changing events – from buying a house to having a child. Even older generations are putting off retirement as the cost of living has risen. In 2020, according to the Pew Research Center, only 3 in 10 millennials live with a spouse or child.  

In an effort to get to “financial wellness,” Americans are trying different new techniques and reestablishing a physical connection to money, adopting new trends like cash-stuffing. A recent Harris Poll reveals that in the U.S.,  53% of consumers use cash more now than a year ago.  

  1. Social Banking

Digital technology has also made a big impact on how we spend and save. Millennials are leading the way, searching for new ways to bank digitally, no longer relying on traditional banks for lending and savings solutions. New social sharing, crowdsourcing, gaming, and on-demand economy apps are creating new social conversations and even new relationships around money.  

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 77% of bankers believe that the ability to unlock the value of A.I. will be the difference between the success and failure of banks.

  1. A New Power Shift

Cultural changes from social movements to government policies are creating new opportunities for underserved communities. According to American Express female entrepreneurs statistics, 42% of all businesses in the U.S. are women-owned, up 114 percent compared to the early 2000’s. There are also new mobile platforms like Greenwood (inspired by the early 1900’s Greenwood District) that are pioneering new ways to serve the financial needs of the Black community.  

  1. Generational Changes

In a world of surging home prices and rising stock prices, we’re in the midst of the greatest transfer of wealth in history handed down from one generation to the next with fewer tax liabilities – to include everything from property purchases, to gifting, to starting new foundations. We’re also seeing younger generations shifting away from past traditions and values – from the decline of Christianity and patriotism to the rise of co-habitation. We’re also witnessing the largest mass migrations of college-educated students out of coastal cities like New York and San Francisco according to a recent NY Times article, creating a bigger challenge when it comes to geotargeting certain younger demographics.  

  1. The Evolution of Wealth

The word wealth comes from the Old English word wela, meaning happiness and prosperity in abundance. Once a symbol of selfish gluttony and over-abundance, figures like Elon Musk and even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are changing that persona, creating powerful forces for good with a bit of controversy built in. We’re also seeing a rise in peer to peer lending, allowing wealthy individuals and collectives to take part in a shared financial community – even acknowledging the risks of not having financial experts and help.  

Together, these trends are reshaping America’s relationship with money and creating new opportunities for banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions to create new relationships with different generations.  

Join us on June 14 for PETERMAYER’s webinar titled “Our New Relationship with Money,” where we will explore these trends and other changes facing brands and marketers in the years and decades ahead. Register here.

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