Millennials: Ethics And Morals Become Identity Markers For Brands

Millennials expect more from brands with ethics and morality becoming part of their identity and culture in real life and online.

Honesty at 77%, reliability at 74%, helping family at 74%, compassion at 72% and commitment at 72% are the most important values to millennials, according to data released by Morning Consult, a technology company.

The top five most loved brands by Millennials include YouTube at 82%, Google at 81%, Netflix at 80%, Amazon at 74%, and Sony at 72%.

The study — "What Millennials Expect From Your Brand" — tracked more than 1,800 brands and products with about 200 interviews per day per brand to analyze how the values and the ethics of millennials play a role in consumer choices.

Millennials care about helping people, but not as much as generation Gen Z, 18 to 21 year olds. About 62% of Gen Z say they care more about helping people of the world, followed by Millennials at 52%, Gen X at 43%, and Boomers at 37%.

They also care less about respect for authority. In fact, they care the least out of any recent generations. Boomers respect authority most at 63%, followed by Gen X at 55%, Gen Z at 54%, and Millennials at 47%.

Profit-sharing with a good cause seems important to Millennials, with 38% admitting a company that gives away a small share of profits to a good cause would make them like the company. They are, however, much less likely than their parents to care about goods being made in America.

While 58% of Boomers say they’d like a company much more if their goods were made in the United States, just 39% of millennials said they feel the same.

Only 25% of millennials said they will buy goods or services they like from companies they know may have labor practices they don’t support. Treating employees well is key for millennials. Some 51% said they would like a company more if they paid employees well and 40% said they would like a company more if it was known to be a place people liked to work.

Political affiliations of a company play a major part of whether Millennials will buy goods and services. About 29% said they will not buy goods or services from companies if they are aware the company has political positions different from their own, and 24% said they boycotted a company in the last year when it had an opposing political affiliation.

Some 38% of Millennials said they like a company much more if they’re an advocate for civil rights. About 26% said they like a company much more if it advocates gay rights. In terms of gay rights, 26% also said it wouldn’t make a difference. Only 19% said they would like a company more if it advocated for stricter gun control.

Some 68% Millennials said reliability and/or durability are important factors to brand loyalty, followed by high quality given the price at 54%, positive interactions with customer service at 50%, best available at 43%, and the ethical and the moral standards of the company at 42%.

Poor customer service is the easiest way to lose brand loyalty at 74%, followed by when a company doesn’t treat its employees well at 70% and poor labor practices at 69%.

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