The Value of Values: Jesse Wolfersberger

  • Season 1, Bonus Episode 1
  • October 19, 2021
  • 14 minute listen

The Value of Values: Jesse Wolfersberger

“Some say they’ll pay any price to support the brand that supports a cause they care about.”

Episode Notes

During On Principle’s regular season, we tell the stories of business leaders navigating tough calls and pivotal moments. Between seasons, we share bonus episodes that delve deeper into earlier interviews, elaborating on research, scholarship and experience about values-based, data-driven decision-making.

In a white paper published in June 2021, WashU Olin’s Professor Stuart Bunderson and Jesse Wolfersberger, CEO and cofounder of Vrity, outlined a cross-section of consumer attitudes about how they relate to brands that outwardly articulate their values. Among their findings:

  • Consumers said they will vote with their wallets when people value-align with a brand. They’ll drive farther, dig deeper, spend more to support those brands.
  • Consumers who had job disruptions because of the pandemic were more likely to reevaluate their personal values.
  • Thirty-nine percent of people said there are brands they will never support because they were silent on an issue that was important to them.

“On the whole, what was so interesting is simply that these younger generations — and by younger, you’ve got to include Gen X in there — they're very values-driven in their purchasing behavior and the way they think about companies,” said Bunderson, director of Olin’s Bauer Leadership Center. “So, this isn't going away.”


This podcast is a production of Washington University in St. Louis’s Olin Business School. Contributors include:

  • Katie Wools, Cathy Myrick and Judy Milanovits, creative assistance
  • Jill Young Miller, fact checking and creative assistance
  • Hayden Molinarolo, original music, sound design and editing
  • Nate Sprehe, creative direction, production and editing
  • Angie Winschel, production assistance and project management
  • Lexie O'Brien and Erik Buschardt, website support
  • Mark P. Taylor, strategic support
  • Paula Crews, creative vision and strategic support

Special thanks to Ray Irving and his team at WashU Olin’s Center for Digital Education, including our audio engineer, Austin Alred.

Additional information

Please subscribe on your favorite podcasting app to be notified when each new episode of On Principle is available.

Download the podcast transcript PDF