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89% of Young Consumers Think Brands Need to Help With Coronavirus

YPulse is carefully monitoring COVID-19’s impact on young consumers and how brands can respond. We’ll be providing new data and insights for you weekly to cope with the crisis, including soon-to-be-released special reports, exclusive data on Coronavirus and the next generations, and actionable insights on what brands need to be doing now.

You can access everything here on our young consumers and COVID-19 hub.

YPulse’s exclusive COVID-19 research shows that Gen Z and Millennials expect that brands will step up and help with the pandemic. Here are the top things they think companies should do right now…

We’ve told you that young consumers have always expected brands to make a difference—and now YPulse’s exclusive COVID-19 research shows that 89% of Gen Z and Millennials expect brands to take action to help with Coronavirus, and 84% agree with the statement, “brands have just as much responsibility as everyone else in helping to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.” As these generations face immediate challenges around their work, finances, education, mental health, and physical health, they’re paying close attention to the brands that are actively addressing the crisis.

We’ve outlined some of the major ways that brands have quickly stepped in to show their support, from Nike’s campaign encouraging social distancing to Snapchat’s release of a mental health tool to provide a safety resource. But our survey focused on young consumers and COVID-19 also asked 1000 13-39-year-olds exactly what actions they think brands should be taking—if anything—to help with Coronavirus right now. Here’s what we found out:

The biggest takeaway for brands here is the one we stated in our headline: the large majority of young consumers expect that brands take some kind of action to help fight COVID-19, with only 7% of Gen Z and 13% of Millennials saying it’s not necessary for brands to help. As we mentioned, these generations have always expected brands to make a difference, and this expectation is amplified in this dramatic and unique time. If you have not already clearly shown them how you’re helping, it’s time to start.

In fact, half of Gen Z and over a third of Millennials say that informing consumers what they are doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is one of the ways they can help. Gen Z was more likely to feel that brands should be taking action nearly across the board, showing that this generation might expect even more from brands when it comes to social good—but also that brands looking to reach this younger group needs to be even more clear about their efforts.

The top ways that young consumers want brands to help right now are related to the unusual and significant ways that the workforce is being impacted by a crisis that makes it dangerous for anyone to go to work. Allowing all employees to work from home is the top response, followed by paying and providing benefits to impacted workers. It’s clear that young consumers want brands to take action to help stop the spread of the virus by mandating quarantine and isolation for their employees and customers, with letting workers stay home the biggest expectation and cancelling all in person events desired by half of young consumers. When we asked what they’re afraid of happening because of Coronavirus, 61% said loved ones getting sick—the top response. Helping stop the spread of the virus with social distancing measures is clearly a major way that brands can help.

Their second biggest fear was the economy crashing, which over half said they are afraid of. The desire for brands to support impacted workers with pay and benefits is directly related to this fear. Taking care of employees during COVID-19 is one of the biggest ways that brands can show young consumers that they care and are trying to alleviate the impacts of the crisis.