Young consumers reward purpose-driven businesses

The Purpose Pulse has found that the next generation of consumers and employees about their current views on ESG issues.

As consumers, young people are set to reward purpose-driven businesses, with a majority (61 per cent) saying a brand having a clear social purpose is important in their purchasing decisions. A good record on workers’ rights is also important for young buyers, with over two thirds (68 per cent) looking to buy from brands that treat their employees well. Just over two fifths (43 per cent) of Millennials and Gen Z in the UK and Germany have boycotted a company over the past 12 months because they do not agree with their values or behaviour, an increase of 9 per cent from last year.

As employees they expect their concerns around mental health and inequality are addressed in the workplace with over two thirds of Millennials and Gen Z saying they want employers to encourage them to “bring their whole self to work”.

Nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of Millennials and Gen Z think mental health is a challenge, second only to COVID-19 (76 per cent). Economic inequality (66 per cent), climate change (65 per cent), and job security (65 per cent) are also viewed as a concern by solid majorities of young people. Yet, despite the preoccupation with the pandemic and mental health, there are still high expectations for COP26 this year, with nearly three fifths hopeful it will lead to a positive outcome.

D&I initiatives are viewed favourably among young employees, as two thirds (66 per cent) want to work for an organisation that actively promotes diversity and inclusion and, more controversially, diversity targets are welcomed by young people, as nearly three fifths (58 per cent) back binding quotas to achieve targets on race and gender and six in ten (60 per cent) want to see employers make clear commitments such as linking executive pay to positive outcomes on diversity.

Phil Riggins, founder of the Brand and Reputation Collective said: "As Millennials and Gen Z continue to move into leadership positions in business, government and civil society, we can expect their impatience with the pace of change on issues like climate change and diversity to be translated into direct action. Brands that facilitate this shift will stay relevant and thrive, those that drag their feet won’t. It’s as simple as that. "

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