Trend Alert: People Over Prime

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest trends that are impacting the daily lives of 16-24s.

There’s worrying news for Amazon, and any brand that relies upon Gen Z influencers as part of their marketing strategy, this week as a group of 90 TikTok creators with a total following of over 58 million have announced they won’t be partnering with the ecommerce giant anymore until they respond to the demands of the Amazon Labor Union.

This will come as a big blow to Amazon, which is known to be one of the businesses that spends the most on influencer marketing, and also sees the Gen Z demographic as key to its future success. They use strategies such as offering a student discount on Amazon Prime to create loyalty and familiarity with consumers at a young age.

Customers boycotting brands over actions they disagree with isn’t a new trend, but this is one of the first examples we’ve seen of influencers collectively deciding not to take money from a brand, despite sponsorship being a key source of income for them. The campaign, which goes by the name People Over Prime, was organised by a youth activism group called Gen Z For Change. They previously supported unionised workers at another major brand, Starbucks, by bombarding the company with over 140,000 fake applications when they tried to hire non-union workers to replace those who had formed a union asking for better treatment.

These actions reflect a broader trend of positive sentiment toward unions among young people. A 2021 Gallup poll revealed that 77% of 18-34s are in favour of unions, and we’ve also seen growing positivity toward socialism and increasingly negative views of capitalism, as we wrote about last year. The founder of the Amazon Labor Union Chris Smalls is seen as a hero for his willingness to take on such a huge and powerful corporation to improve the rights of workers, even after he lost his job at the company. Meanwhile, #hotlaborsummer has become a popular hashtag on Twitter as social media users are inspired and excited by the progress being made.

The People Over Prime campaign not only represents Gen Z’s willingness to stand up for what they believe in and hold corporations accountable for their actions, but it also reflects their attitude toward work. They may be an ambitious and career-driven generation, but they’re also keenly aware of the importance of protecting their mental health, and they do not see their wellbeing as something they should sacrifice in order to impress the boss. This is a topic we’ll dig into more in our upcoming report, Youth Trends: The Future of Work, coming soon to Voxburner+.

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