“Don’t be evil,” Google’s corporate motto, reminiscent of the Hippocratic oath, “Do no harm,” is at once grandiose and simple. Technology and communication, as general consensus goes, are harbingers of openness and progress, and nowhere else in the world than in San Francisco and the Bay Area are these beliefs more beloved and adhered to. And research shows that millennials, more than any other generation, believe and want businesses to do good in the world.
Millennials refer to the demographic group that hit young adulthood around the year 2000 and is the bona fide “it” word of businesses and marketers. This is no wonder since by 2018, their earnings and spending power are projected to outpace those of Baby Boomers. Moreover, according to the same research conducted by the public relations conglomerate MSLGROUP, this generational urge to change the world is not regionally limited.
The study, which involved 8000 millennials in over 70 countries, reports that 83 percent of respondents want businesses to be more active in solving issues big and small. Companies like Tom’s, the shoemaker, which gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased, are admired not only for their product, but because of their intentions and actions. Of those surveyed, 82 percent believe businesses can impact societal issues, and 79 percent wish it were easier to know which companies were doing good, which means social participation of businesses will more than ever have a decided impact in a customer’s purchase decision.
Even though the sometimes too militant tone of brands that claim to not do any harm on the environment or whatnot seem as though they are chastising you to do good and brandishing a finger in your face as though you’re killing a baby rhino by choosing another brand, there’s no denying that, if one could afford it, one would rather choose to save a few polar bears.
So businesses must ask themselves whether they are meeting the expectations of millennials on every level: not just product, service, and engagement, but social activism. Because let’s face it, if you don’t have millennials, you’ve got nothing.