TBWA recently released a fantastic global research report called “The Future of Social Activism” that provides potent insights into the opportunities available to brands that want to drive engagement and loyalty with Millennials.
Millennials have always been a darling of brands due to their disposal income, tech savviness and appetite for all things new, but in reviewing this report its important to realize that Millennials are now approaching their early 30′s, assuming management positions or leading their own companies, and will increasingly shape the priorities and profit centers of our business future. With this in mind, it’s powerful to see how important social activism is to their lives, how they like to participate and how pervasive activism is around the world.
The various ways they prefer to engage reminds us that each brand must provide Millennials with a toolkit for participation so that their contribution is as individual as they are. Additionally, multinational brands must be mindful of regional preferences as, for example, we see donations top the engagement list in China while India leads in staying informed.
The issues Millennials care about most varies from country to country and its tempting to let that drive what cause you support. But a brand must ensure its own purpose, values and mission dictate what cause it supports to avoid accusations of greenwashing or causewashing. That way, a brand’s cause work drives Millennial engagement and reinforces the authentic for-profit narrative of the brand.
In case any brand is still needs convincing of the need to commit to cause work in alignment with their brands, here are the rewards Millennials are willing to offer brands that range from purchasing their products, brand loyalty and job seeking jobs at that company.
Seen together these findings support one conclusion. The most powerful way to engage Millennials, create brand ambassadors and build your business is to appeal to their hearts, not reach into their pockets. Those brands that take this message to heart will be the ones that profit most in the future.