There are a lot of negative labels associated with my generation, the millennials. We’ve been called the “me-me-me generation” for our tendency to over-share on social media; the “Peter Pan generation” for our inability to grow up; and the “entitled generation” for expecting higher pay and better benefits, despite our perceived lack of experience. None of these descriptions are very flattering, but another label we’ve earned that is becoming more and more prevalent is that we’re a socially responsible generation, and that title has permeated our buying habits.
According to Curalate’s blog, “#Instagood Branding: How to Reach Socially Conscious Millennials,” millennials are one of the most socially conscious demographics out there. Or, more to the point, millennials care about what your brand is doing, and we’re willing to put our money where our mouths are. Got a bad rap for treating workers poorly? Socially responsible millennials are willing to bypass your product. Same goes for those who don’t make the effort to reduce their carbon footprints or aren’t actively involved in their communities.
Your Messaging Influences Millennials’ Value of Your Brand
It might seem like hype, or a desperate attempt at a pat on the back, but it’s not. Take TOMS. This shoe brand has become a hit sensation not because of their shoes, but because of their mission. TOMS is known first and foremost amongst socially responsible millennials as the brand that donates a pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair bought.
I own a pair of TOMS wedges. They are phenomenal. The quality is outstanding and the shoe is ridiculously comfortable. Plus, I get compliments on them every time they hit the streets. But that’s not why I bought them. Truth be told, I just wanted a pair of lace-up wedges. I found one that I really liked, and then found the TOMS equivalent. The pricing was comparable, and while I initially like the other brand more, I ended up going with TOMS because I knew about their brand and agreed with their values. It just so happened that the shoes ended up being an amazingly good purchase. So good that even now, whenever anyone compliments my footwear, I feel the need to say, “Thanks, they’re TOMS.” High-value meeting high-purpose? Count me, and millions of other millennials, in.
If You Say It, Millennials Will Probably Share It
Brand name-dropping was once only reserved for high-end luxury items that visited Paris runways. Today those luxury brands are being replaced with brands that are socially responsible and have a clear purpose that includes making the world a better place. Buying brands with purpose is an easy form of activism for a millennial generation that has grown up with wars, financial downturns, environmental catastrophes, and corporate corruption.
It’s not enough anymore to just have a good product; you need to be a good company. Millennials are tech-savvy enough to find out what’s really going on with your brand, and with a plethora of social media channels at our disposal, we’re more than willing to share the news.
But if you truly are a company that treats its employees right, respects the planet, and is doing good for the community, there are ways to share your values without seeming like you’re pandering:
- Team up with non-profits for awareness events.
- Keep your records transparent and easily accessible.
- Create a hashtag to spread your purpose and promote a cause.
- Stay present on social media and actively communicate with your followers.
For more tips and tricks on how to connect with a socially responsible millennial audience that’s more influenced by your mission than your product or price point, contact me today.
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