Conscious, aware and more decisive than their predecessors, there’s more to millennials than what meets the eye. Mindful about what they are seen flaunting, they believe in their duty towards the world and attempt to connect the dots to make the society a better place. Raising a toast to a community as a whole, this demographic has a strong conscience. Their shopping patterns are undeniably praiseworthy as they are able to contribute towards positivity in every step of the way.
They are typically discerning shoppers looking for more than just quality when buying or investing. For them, buying is more than just a transaction, it’s a chance to make an impact. That desire to do good translates to shopping from brands whose ideologies resonate with them. Constantly on a hunt for brands that have a purpose that aligns with their own passions and have transparent, ethical business practices, most millennials prefer brands that use sustainable materials and are driven by their social impact. A global phenomenon, millennial ethical consumerism does not believe in putting a price tag on products that are rich in value and offer sustainability.
This group does not take items at face value but makes the effort to research the ingredients and study labels. They are not afraid to share their viewpoints with friends and family by questioning everything, sometimes even challenging long-held beliefs.
According to a 2015 Nielsen Report, 66% of consumers were willing to pay extra for products from sustainable brands, while an even higher 73% of millennials were of the same opinion. Millennials are buying clothes, beauty and personal care products, workout gear, accessories from companies that make use of natural and sustainable materials, and market their eco-friendly campaign. Millennials readily pay more for a product they know helps the environment in some way or the other. This, in turn, has led to businesses realizing that they are answerable to their consumers and make better decisions regarding their products and marketing. These brands can also take advantage of the support being offered to take initiative or partner with organizations and work towards achieving sustainability goals in the long run.
Three reasons underlie this shift in mindset towards ethical practices, conscious consumption and safe products:
The boom in technology and gadget usage has made information extremely accessible and given it a wider reach. Brought up with the Internet and smartphones, millennials are accustomed to having a wealth of information on their fingertips, in real-time. They are more aware of the global trends, sustainable and ethical practices, and this directly affects their consumption patterns and choices.
Having grown up in a progressive world of globalization and economic disruption, this generation holds a very different worldview. Concerns which did not previously exist have now become the need of the hour. The conversations around the environment, environmental damage, lowering one’s carbon footprint are now taking place at a global scale with countries setting out targets on cutting back their greenhouse gas emissions. Every day, we get to hear about new environmental concerns which are snowballing into a bigger problem or triggering other concerns which in turn are making millennials opt for brands and products which are safer for the environment.
Social media advocacy, environmental groups, peaceful protests and even global teenage activists are driving awareness and making people more conscious about the choices they make and the impact it leaves on the environment.
This interrelationship between increased awareness; perceived consumer effectiveness and environmental concerns continue to weigh in on the choices millennials make.
For a brand to be successful among millennials, it needs to first get the group to buy into its brand story. With 65-70% of consumers under 35 years preferring brands based on ethical practices, it is important for brands to establish a reputation for environmental stewardship and social responsibility as a means of not only growing but to build brand loyalty all while having a positive impact on the environment.