The Attention & Trust Economy: Building Brands in the Digital Age


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 14, 2023

4 min read


The Attention & Trust Economy: Building Brands in the Digital Age


In the digital age, capturing attention has become increasingly challenging. People now have a sense of fear and doubt when their attention is being sought. This has led to the emergence of the "Attention & Trust Economy," where gaining attention requires simultaneously building trust. In this article, we will explore the importance of attention and trust in the modern economy and delve into strategies to effectively capture attention and build trust.

The Power of Generation Z:

The Z generation, comprising 27% of the population in the United States, is the most diverse generation and is projected to become the largest by 2026. Z generation individuals are constantly consuming content and switching brands effortlessly. However, the moment a brand breaks its promises or acts contrary to its vision, trust is lost. Brands must recognize the power of this generation and prioritize building trust to maintain their attention.

The Shift from Materialism to Access:

In the past, material possessions were a status symbol, with luxury items like Gucci bags representing wealth and status. However, the definition of status has evolved. Today, access is the new status symbol. The ability to access exclusive restaurants, limited edition products, or hidden apps like Clubhouse is what sets individuals apart. Moreover, having access to information that others don't have, such as knowledge about environmental issues, has become a source of joy and fulfillment.

Keeping Up with Rapidly Changing Trends:

Adapting to rapidly changing trends is crucial. Platforms like TikTok introduce new trends every week, and the Z generation must stay updated on the latest dances, music, and TikTok stars. Being able to discover and embrace what others don't know, having access rights, and unearthing hidden gems are sources of excitement for this generation.

Building Brands Beyond Growth and Revenue:

To create a successful brand that transcends generations, it is essential to focus on providing users with exceptional value, a sense of community, and exclusive insights. Brands should not solely prioritize rapid growth and sales. Instead, they should strive to make users feel valued and part of an insider community.

Harnessing the Power of Access:

In the quest for access, brands can control the value they offer to individuals with access and access rights. Starting with audience building is crucial for the next generation of brands. Examples like Glossier and Barstool Sports have successfully utilized content to cultivate a fan base, leveraging attention and trust to monetize their offerings.

Embracing the Z Generation's Desire for Self-expression and Creativity:

The Z generation has a greater inclination to express themselves and showcase their creativity compared to previous generations. With the projected sale of 100 million AirPods in 2021, it is natural to expect the rise of audio-based social media and audio-focused platforms. Additionally, as the Z generation is accustomed to communicating through voice from a young age, they will likely seek similar communication methods in the workplace.

Investing in the Metaverse and Digital Infrastructure:

Tencent, a major player in the digital world, has made significant investments in creating a metaverse and developing the necessary infrastructure and content. With a 40% stake in Epic Games, which is closest to creating a metaverse infrastructure, and potential holdings in A/R, Mirrorworld, and digital mapping through a 12% stake in Snap, Tencent is positioning itself at the forefront of the metaverse revolution.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize building trust: Consistently deliver on promises and align actions with your brand's vision to maintain the trust of the Z generation.
  • 2. Focus on access and exclusivity: Offer experiences, products, or information that others don't have access to, as this is highly valued by the Z generation.
  • 3. Cultivate an audience through content: Start by creating compelling content that resonates with your target audience. Utilize blog posts, guest posts, and email marketing to build a loyal following.


In the Attention & Trust Economy, capturing attention and building trust are essential for success. Understanding the preferences of the Z generation, embracing their desire for access and self-expression, and investing in the digital infrastructure will position brands for long-term growth. By prioritizing trust, offering exclusivity, and cultivating an audience through engaging content, brands can thrive in this new era.

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