Compass

Generation Why: How Purpose Shapes the Millennial Mindset

Dr. Tim Rayner

Dr. Tim Rayner

Director of Education and Culture @ the merrier

24 Sep 2018 | 5min read

The Millennial generation (born between January 1983 and December 1994) is 2 billion strong, comprising 27% of the world’s population. By 2025, Millennials will make up 44 percent of the workforce. Economists estimate that Millennials will spend a combined $10 trillion in their lifetime.

Millennials are typically socially progressive, digitally savvy, and collaborative in nature. More than any other generation, they are passionate about purpose and doing good.

THE PURPOSE GENERATION

Millennial’s passion for purpose significantly impacts their purchasing and lifestyle decisions. Not only do Millennials expect brands to lead with purpose, many live their ideals through philanthropy and volunteering.

Purchasing

  • 91% of Millennials would switch from a brand with no purpose to a purpose-oriented brand (price and quality remaining the same).
  • 73% are willing to pay extra for ethical and sustainable goods.

Giving and volunteering

  • Just over half of Millennials (52%) made a donation to a social cause in the past month.
  • 46% of Millennials volunteered for a social cause in the last month.

MILLENNIALS ARE NOT IMPRESSED WITH CORPORATE ETHICS ...

Millennials, on the whole, have a dim view of corporate ethics. The upside for progressive leaders is that purpose-led brands stand out - and shine.

  • 75% of Millennials believe companies focus on their own agendas instead of considering the needs of society as a whole
  • 62% think companies have no ambition beyond making money.

... AND THEY TALK ABOUT IT

Millennial consumers actively discuss brands' ethical failings on social media. They expect brands to do better and stand for more.

  • 66% of Millennials use social media to discuss CSR-related issues.
  • 81% want companies to make a public commitment to social good.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 US Millennials actively consider company values when making a purchase, compared with 52% of all US online adults.

“While previous generations relied on protests, boycotts or divestment campaigns, today’s Millennials can research the social or environmental impact of a product or company online before making a purchase from or working with that company. They’ve impacted the company’s bottom line without saying a word.”

~Washington Post, 2016.

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