Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of Millennials, born between 1979 and 2001, feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world. The civic-minded generation, 78 million strong, not only believes it is its responsibility to make the world a better place, but most (78 percent) believe that companies have a responsibility to join them in this effort and say they are prepared to reward or punish a company based on its commitment to social causes.
The 2006 Cone Millennial Cause Study was commissioned by Boston-based Cone in cooperation with AMP Insights, the strategic planning and consumer insights division of AMP Agency, a youth-focused marketing agency.
An overwhelming 74 percent surveyed indicate they are more likely to pay attention to a company’s overall messages when they see that the company has a deep commitment to a cause. Nearly nine out of ten Millennials surveyed, aged 13 to 25, say they are likely or very likely to switch from one brand to another (price and quality being equal) if the second brand is associated with a good cause.
Moreover, the poll finds that as Millennials begin to enter the workforce, they not only have high expectations for themselves, but also for their employers. Nearly eight out of ten want to work for a company that cares about how it contributes to society, while more than half would refuse to work for an irresponsible corporation.
Among the survey findings:
• 83 percent will trust a company more if it is socially/environmentally responsible.
• 74 percent are more likely to pay attention to a company’s message when they see that the company has a deep commitment to a cause.
• 69 percent consider a company’s social/environmental commitment when deciding where to shop.
• 89 percent are likely or very likely to switch from one brand to another (price and quality being equal) if the second brand is associated with a good cause.
• 66 percent will consider a company’s social/environmental commitment when deciding whether to recommend its products and services.
• 79 percent want to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society.
• percent are aware of their employer’s commitment to social/environmental causes.
• 64 percent say their company’s social/environmental activities make them feel loyal to that company.
• 56 percent would refuse to work for an irresponsible corporation.
“To best reach Millennials, traditional marketing must evolve,” says Anastasia Toomey, vice president of consumer insights at AMP Agency. “Technology has given the Millennial generation complete access to what is happening around the globe. They are attuned to natural and social world changing events and they have the knowledge and ability to support the causes they believe in. Due to the fractured landscape of media that these kids are wading around in, brands could truly benefit from finding a shared passion with their target.”
“Pioneering companies are meeting Millennials high expectations by aligning with relevant social and environmental issues,” adds Carol Cone, chairman of Cone. “Companies need to provide hands-on cause-related experiences and then clearly and consistently share related societal impacts. This engagement and communication will create a generation of brand ambassadors, ready to stand-up and conquer pressing world issues, while being loyal to the brands, companies and employers that they trust most.”