How to turn Millennials into sustainability champions

2) They’re all for social responsibility. Forget what you’ve heard – Millennials care about what’s going on around them, in their communities and in communities around the world. In fact, nearly 63 percent of Millennials volunteered for a non-profit in 2011, and 70 percent say they’ve helped raise money on behalf of a non-profit organization.

When it comes to sustainability, Millennials are plugged in. According to our on-going Pulse research, they are the age group most likely to search for greener products, with 78 percent of their ranks reporting having done so in the recent past. Furthermore, nearly half of Millennials say that a company’s environmental reputation has an impact on their purchase decision.

Try encouraging their participation in both large and small-scale philanthropic activities. But make sure what you’re asking them to do is legit – this generation has been a huge advocate for corporate transparency, and has become very good at sniffing out frauds. Furthermore, they’ve got a lot going on in their lives and need to know that where they’re devoting their time is worthwhile.

3) They aren’t their parents, or even their older siblings. There’s a lot to be said about how this generation is rewriting traditional life milestones. For instance, many are putting off marriage and home-buying until they’ve shored up their professional lives, or at least established themselves comfortably. Comparing their life track to that of Baby Boomers and Generation X could lead to more angst than you’d like.

Try acting as a partner in their life-building process, rather than a reminder that they aren’t living their life the same way their parents did. By removing the guilt and supporting their choices, Millennials’ trust in your brand will grow considerably. They’re getting used to hearing “no” and reasons why they can’t – help them see they can.

Millennials are certainly an interesting group to pay attention to. They’re dynamic, educated and creative. Better yet, their population is very large, and their spending power continues to grow. The brands who understand this will certainly see the rewards of working with Generation Y. The brands who ignore Gen Y will … well, it might not be pretty.

Image courtesy of Shelton Group.