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Understanding woke influence on purchasing decisions

Have you ever thought about how societal trends can influence our buying decisions? Filipino consumers are increasingly prioritizing brands that align with their values. A recent study by Agile Data Solutions, a data analytics firm, found that 57 percent of Filipino respondents said that "woke" culture has had a significant impact on how they focus on marketing and promotion strategies when choosing goods and services. Around 55 percent of respondents said that exposure to "cancel" culture has shifted their attitudes in the same direction.

The study also found that 64 percent of Filipinos engage in "woke" debates, fostering critical conversations and shedding light on societal issues. This is a testament to their passion for advocating for change and seeking justice. In navigating the intricate web of cancel culture, 43 percent hold individuals or organizations accountable for their statements or actions. While cancel culture could hold individuals accountable, it has also sparked debates surrounding freedom of speech, the possibility of mob mentality, and the limited opportunities for the accused to learn from their mistakes or seek redemption.

While the word "wokeness" was originally used within Black American communities as an alert to impending danger, its usage has expanded in recent years. Ellaine Betez, in her study "Discourse, Habitus, and Power in the Philippine: Woke Culture," said the term was used widely on Twitter by 2010. In the Philippines, "woke" culture peaked during contentious moments like the burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Recent research on "Savvy and Woke" by Julienne Celina Sicat Dayrit et al. in 2022 shows that Filipino youth's social media political participation regarding gender issues is currently low to moderate. Those belonging to gender-disadvantaged categories, such as females and LGBTQ+, are more likely to engage in online movements centered on these issues.

Dayrit adds that the Philippines has seen a significant increase in social media political participation. Movements such as #BabaeAko (I am a Woman) and #HijaAko (I am a Daughter) gained traction online, protesting former president Rodrigo Duterte's chauvinistic comments and victim-blaming of sexual harassment victims.

Data from the Agile survey aligns with the Dayrit et al. paper's findings on LGBTQIA+ rights, even though only 24 percent of respondents emphasized this as an important issue. Other pivotal topics for online debate include women's empowerment and discussions about live-in relationships.

"Despite the potential confusion caused by contemporary 'woke' terminologies, the study showcases that most Filipinos actively advocate for women's empowerment, LGBTQ rights, and environmental protection," said Jason Gaguan, founder of Agile Data Solutions. He further emphasized that these topics show a community that values diverse perspectives and actively seeks to broaden its understanding of various lifestyle choices.

Gaguan also noted the significant role of brand values and integrity in purchasing decisions as consumers become more conscious and discerning. A little more than half of the respondents said "woke" content made them "more focused on who's selling the goods and services rather than the actual products." Nearly half of the respondents are more likely to support brands that align with their personal values or promote social justice. Around 30 percent stated that they actively avoid businesses that have been "canceled" because of offensive or harmful actions.

Considering these insights, Gaguan emphasizes the need for businesses to adapt to these evolving societal norms. Businesses must refine their marketing strategies and maintain relevance, and connection with their consumers. Businesses understand the importance of meeting consumer demand to thrive and stay competitive. Consumers now consider a brand's values and its impact on society, demanding that companies align their practices.

Most Filipinos (81 percent) prefer Facebook for discussions. The remaining percentage is divided between those who opt for the short-form video app TikTok and those who appreciate traditional face-to-face conversations.

Let us remember that as consumers, our choices have power. Spending money on sustainable, just companies is like casting votes with our wallets. These choices propel us toward a more equitable and sustainable world. To businesses, it's important to recognize and embrace this evolving landscape. Show your dedication to fostering a fair and inclusive society by aligning your practices with the values of your consumers.

Source: Manila Times

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