A new survey from Cone Inc. shows that not only do most people aged 13-25 feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world, but they will punish companies that don't join them in this effort.
The 2006 Cone Millennial Cause Study, conducted in cooperation with youth-focused marketing agency AMP Insights, explores how corporate cause-related initiatives influence 'Millennials' (those born between 1979 and 2001) as consumers, employees and citizens.
The survey reveals that 61% of them feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world. This civic-minded generation, 78 million strong, not only believes it is their responsibility to make the world a better place, but 78% of them believe that companies have a responsibility to join them in this effort. Millennials say they are prepared to reward or punish a company based on its commitment to social causes.
An overwhelming 74% 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, ages 13 � 25, stated that 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.
The survey's findings were quite revealing. For example:
- 74% 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% consider a company's social/environmental commitment when deciding where to shop.
- 89% 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% will consider a company's social/environmental commitment when deciding whether to recommend its products and services.
- 79% want to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society.
- 69% are aware of their employer's commitment to social/environmental causes.
- 64% say their company's social/environmental activities make them feel loyal to that company.
- 56% would refuse to work for an irresponsible corporation.
According to Carol Cone, chairman for Cone Inc., "To be truly effective, corporations should use cause branding as a loyalty strategy. 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. Most importantly, companies cannot be afraid to communicate their cause commitments with honesty and sincerity. Millennials want to know how their support of a specific brand or product is actually making a difference."