America’s Next Commercial Revolution: From Affluence to Influence
America’s retail and consumer landscape is being dramatically transformed by a set of dynamic tensions emerging as two radically different principles of commercial and social organization collide. Affluence, the traditional approach to growing markets and establishing social status — based on mass production, distribution and media models — is being successfully challenged by influence, the ability to instantly move markets through the amplification and reach of an individual voice or a community of voices.
This shift is the cornerstone of America’s Next Commercial Revolution: Influence vs. Affluence, A.T. Kearney’s study of the newest U.S. consumers, their changing attitudes, and the likely impact they will have on all consumer-facing industries. The study is part of A.T. Kearney’s ongoing Consumers@250 research, which seeks to describe what American consumers and the businesses serving them will look like in 2026, when the nation celebrates its 250th birthday.