Millennials Seek Socially Responsible Brands
Has your brand lost touch with generational tastes? The millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are said to account for $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending, with a preference for brands that embrace corporate social responsibility. Has your brand taken a stance to reach millennials, aka Generation Y?
The World Economic Forum found that 71% of millennials want brands to be environmentally friendly and ethical; 61% want them to connect with a cause or social issue. Keep in mind, the data has already shown that brands perceived as “good” sell more products anyway, especially amongst millennials. So why not share your company’s involvement in worthwhile causes as part of your brand strategy?
Millennials also seek out and follow brands they respect on social media. According to one agency report, brands demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility are 40% more likely to connect with millennials through social media. E-marketer notes that of all the generations, millennials have the highest social networking penetration on Facebook and Twitter, so if your brand stands for something good, make it visible through the stories you share on social media.
If you’re not sharing your brand’s connection with a greater cause on social media platforms, millennials may assume you’re company isn’t actively engaged in socially responsible efforts. More than seven in 10 (73 percent) of millennials believe businesses can have a positive impact on wider society, according to the 2015 report by Deloitte. It goes on to show that millennials believe businesses are all falling short in their support of social and environmental causes.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is an exception. The extremely successful Chipotle is one example of a company with a cause at the core of its brand. Not only does Chipotle communicate its values using social media, the company visibly pledges to source 15 million pounds of its produce supply from local, family-owned farms.
It’s worth noting that in California, three out of five 20-24 year olds visited Chipotle in the past year. That is the highest penetration of any casual restaurant chain and twice what it is among older age groups. With transparency, Chipotle takes a stand for sourcing fresh ingredients from small farms, which also becomes the company’s competitive advantage.
To grow in relevance and reach millennials, it’s time to weave social responsibility into the core of our brand strategy.
— Daniel Durrant, Digital Strategist