The Momentum of Millennials
As we’ve highlighted before, the landscape of business is changing; tech-dependent and tech-savvy consumers are creating a responsibility revolution. Because of this unprecedented voice in consumers, companies are required to think differently about how they are doing business. It’s not just business as usual. One very critical piece of this story lies in the hands of Millennials.
Millennial consumers, citizens, leaders, and employees are creating an influential values shift. Millennials, (generally defined by thought leaders as those who were born between 1981 and 1997), were shaped as digital natives and grew up during the height of technological advancement. Using technology for a myriad of communication needs, this constant access to the Internet and social media has created a connected path for Millennials to share and consume ideas…and these ideas are what Millennials are using to shape our future. In fact, by 2025, Millennials will represent 75% of the world’s workforce, while an astounding 83% of Millennials surveyed believe companies should be involved in societal issues (MSL Group, 2014).
Social networks are an extraordinarily important part of Millennials’ digital lives, in part because social networks have become much more than a way to connect about personal matters. Social networks are places where Millennials seek news, differing perspectives, and answers to their inquiries as decision-making citizens. As such, Millennials are attuned to global instability and injustice and weary of corporate greed in the aftermath of the financial crisis (Harvard Business Review, 2014). They love brands that support their communities and would rather purchase from them than competitors (Forbes, 2015).
Edelman found in a recent study that 92% of Millennials and 71% of business leaders rejected profit as the sole measure of success. In fact, 86% of these surveyed consumers thought businesses should place equal weight on society’s interests as on their own business interests. As brand-loyal and socially conscious consumers, 81% of these surveyed Millennials reported that “purpose” can also a business opportunity for companies.
Millennials tend to put high value on their community and society. They are a strong driving force behind the push to support local communities and a perfect stakeholder for conscious companies to establish connection with as consumers and employees. The Millennial Impact Report reported that nearly 3 in 4 Millennials seek employment from a company that supports a social cause and think more highly of a company that supports a social cause. As the world’s next generation of leaders, they will set a precedent of the value of fusing profit and purpose.
The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood, and we best pay attention. For more great thought leadership on Millennial trends, check out The Center for Generational Kinetics, world-renowned “Millennial Guy” speaker Jason Dorsey and the Pew Research Center.
Maggie & Hector