Millennials Are Fighting To Build A More Socially Conscious World Built On Authenticity


What Matters To Millennials

Businesses have had to change their approach in how they approach millennials and post-millennials. While many business analysts and strategists contemplate how to market toward the youngest generations, they often misinterpret the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the target demographic. The Millennial generation is not driven to work for and support companies that don’t value CSR, they are also the most socially progressive generation in the United States.

The Harstad firm conducted a poll in 2014 which found that over 70 percent of millennials in the United States felt the government should be more involved in the following economic issues: making colleges more affordable, creating jobs, helping the poor, providing retirement security for seniors, and the economy in general. 76 percent of those polled felt the government should be more involved with protecting the environment from pollution.

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Protecting the rights of women, rights of workers/consumers, the rights of minorities, climate change, and health care were other areas where a majority of millennials polled felt the government should be more involved. These numbers have risen is subsequent years, as polling from recent years shows younger Americans are more in favor of social democracy, and are less favorable towards pure, unfettered capitalism.

Authenticity Is Key

Authenticity matters a great deal to the millennial generation, with younger Americans rejecting marketing tropes and deciding to spend their capital on companies with a cause. This desire carries over to where the group decides to work. Sarah Landrum explains:

Numerous companies currently have CSR built into the core of their mission statement and others present authentic marketing which appeals to the millennial consumer. Aspiration is a bank which is committed to socially conscious efforts, such as helping to push back against banks which push pipelines. Clif Bar & Company is another company which takes CSR seriously. Employees can volunteer for non-profit organizations during regular work hours. The company also matches employee donations to non-profit organizations.

Patagonia is a company extremely invested in the environment. They host the yearly Grassroots Activist Conference for environmental activists who want help preserve the environment around them. ProDesigns is a brand identity company which specializes in working with companies who want to put forward their unique message or logo on a number of different items – from shirts to business cards. Companies such as these are important to younger Americans who want express a social message in their work and personal life.

Millennials In Business

Millennials have also made a noticeable difference in the stock market, and are going against the typical trends of the general population by investing in stocks like Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter.

Kevin Breuninger of CNBC continues:

“Millennials are also more than twice as likely as other generations to make trades with their phones or tablets. Quirk said 46 percent of millennials make their trades on mobile devices on an average day, compared with 22 percent of overall trades. Overall, millennials appear to be trading based on what they know.”

According to surveys by the Scorpio Partnership consultancy and the 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report, Millennials are “discovering entrepreneurship significantly earlier than boomers did.” Remi Frank of BNP Paribas further describes the phenomena:

“Before, you needed to be 40 or 50. Then it was 30 to 40. Now it’s 20 to 30. This is a trend which is obvious everywhere. Of course, it’s linked to the new technologies, but it’s also a change in the world, which accepts that you can be the CEO of a big company or own your own company at a young age.”

What This Means For The Future

If these trends continue it’s likely the United States will move towards leftist measures in approaches to business, climate change, economic interests, and politics within the next decade. Millennials and post-millennials are showing to have a completely different approach to the world in general from issues of climate change, income inequality, gender equality, rights for the LGBT community, and the acceptance of ethnic minorities as equals.

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