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Millennials’ favor pro-social firms

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The “millennial” generation feels personally responsible for making a difference in the world, and most of them believe corporations should help, a new survey says.

Almost eight in 10 millennials, defined as Americans born between 1979 and 2001, believe companies are obligated to make the world a better place, says Cone Inc.’s 2006 Cone Millennial Cause Study.

The 78 million Americans that make up the millennial generation are prepared to reward or punish companies based on their commitment to social causes, the study says, with nearly nine in 10 saying they are likely or very likely to switch from one brand to another if the second brand is associated with a good cause, and given that price and quality are the same.

And almost eight in 10 want to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society, while more than half would refuse to work for a corporation they believed to be “irresponsible.”

In response to this socially-conscious generation, businesses need to adapt their traditional marketing techniques, the study says.

“To be truly effective, corporations should use cause branding as a loyalty strategy,” Carol Cone, chairman of Cone Inc., says in a statement. “They need to align their brand with a cause that is relevant, authentic, sustainable and engaging, as well as one that is true to the core brand identity.”

Two in 10 millennials volunteer at least once a week, and this sub-group is even more responsive to cause marketing than others of their generation, the study says.

Almost nine in 10 who actively volunteer have purchased a product that supports a cause in the past year, while only fewer than half of non-volunteers have done so.

The study, which surveyed 1,800 respondents aged 13 to 25, was conducted by Cone and AMP Insights.

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