Like it or not, Millennials now make up over a third of the working population, holding a high economic value. They are the most ethical and sustainability-conscious generation to date; Millennial professionals are more likely to prioritise practicality over profit, and Millennial shoppers are more willing to spend more on products and services that are from socially and environmentally responsible brands. Social and environmental ethics are highly important to Millennials, but it seems already that Gen Z are also following in their footsteps.
Millennials are individuals who are currently aged between 25 and 40 years old, meaning they were roughly born between 1981 and 1996.
Expectations of many of these Millennials concerning social ethics and sustainability will continue, extremely likely to be followed closely by Gen Z, which could become a concern for business owners who hope to keep their customer base growing without changing their standard and long-standing practice. Aligning your business focuses to fit with their purchasing decisions will only become more important in the future, and is likely to be the difference between the make or break of your brand.
“The next generation is looking for brands to lead the way and want businesses to create change with them, not just for them.”
Millennial professionals are becoming choosier about the businesses and brands which they associate with, starting from employment right down to everyday purchases. Many would be willing to trade a portion of their salary in exchange for a better working environment, encouraging companies to market and enhance their culture when it comes to attracting the best possible candidates.
When it comes to millennials, a strong brand isn’t always enough to lock in a sale anymore. Many choose to spend their money where it counts. This could include services or quality well-researched products which offer something back to society, which ought to encourage businesses to act more ethically, not only for morality but to meet consumer demand.
Millennials’ spending habits tend to focus heavily on experiential opportunities rather than ownership, with more spending their savings on holidays and activities and putting off expensive commitments such as owning a new home or a new car. These behaviours may encourage new businesses to consider the way in which their consumers interact with their brands, offering more than just an off-the-shelf product.
Over the last five years, 86% of millennials have claimed sustainable investing has become more important to them, which is higher than any other generation, with 79% for Gen Xers and 67% of Baby Boomers. Overall, more than 50% of people buy from businesses with good corporate social responsibility and avoid those with controversies.
Although these matters hold higher importance with the millennials, there is a clear generational demand for businesses to move towards more sustainable methods across all generations. Perhaps we need to keep this in mind moving forward when it comes to desirability and sustainable success.
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