Inflation Nation: The Status of the American Dream and How Brands Can Help

June 8, 2022

The U.S. is having its highest inflation period in 40 years. And this time, a once-in-a-generation event is taking place on the heels of another once-in-a-generation event. Just as people emerge from two years of COVID lockdowns, they’re being greeted by insanely high prices for everything from gas and groceries to hotels and airfare — leading to a wallet lockdown. ​

After a period of prolonged vigilance during the pandemic, feelings of financial stall are leaving people tired. They’re itching to get out and go places, but rising prices – alongside another wave of surging Covid cases – are proving restrictive. And because people don’t know how long inflation will last, they don’t know how to budget. Additionally, a generation of millennials playing catch-up so they can gain better financial standing than their parents is watching the American Dream slip through their fingers as debt and soaring housing prices hold them back. ​

Only 1 in 3 Americans are experiencing upward mobility – a sense that they’re doing better than their parents. ​Millennials are the first generation to be worse off than their parents, a trend that is expected to continue for Gen Z. The traditional American Dream, in which homeownership is a cornerstone, is growing farther out of reach for many in the near term.

In this report, we set out to understand: ​

  • Do people have a clear understanding of what inflation is and what is causing it? ​
  • How are people coping with rising prices, and who feels the most affected? ​
  • How will it impact spending across different categories? ​
  • What effect will inflation have on people as they pursue the American Dream? What is the American Dream to them now? Do they feel it’s achievable? ​
  • What role can brands play in helping Americans feel more hopeful and in control of their financial lives? ​
  • What can brands do to build or retain loyalty as people trim household budgets? 

Click ‘Download PDF’ below to access the full report.

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