Sep 10 2020
As 2020 roars on with a contentious presidential election underway and a life-altering health crisis ongoing, young people are activating. Why now? One clear reason is COVID-19, which has exposed inequalities to young generations in a new way, while giving them more time at home to focus on serious issues and spread the word online about injustice. But our data shows that young people are being motivated for other reasons as well. For some time now, they’ve been feeling unheard and losing faith in the political system, and the historic events of this year are only making them more passionate to take matters into their own hands and instill the changes they want to see in the world. In fact, 75% of young people tell YPulse they feel more empowered to bring positive change into the world than they did last year and 67% agree their generation will change the U.S. for the better.
For brands, understanding what issues most matter to young consumers now—and how they want you involved—has become essential. Young people’s heightened passion to make change has raised the bar for brand activism. They want brands be active allies in making a difference, and they’ll utilize their spending power to make it happen: 61% of young consumers tell YPulse that buying products from brands that support the social causes they support makes them feel better about spending money. They are also holding brands responsible when they aren’t aligning with their values. You’ve likely seen the many hashtags detailing the takedown of brands as young consumers increasingly create #Cancel campaigns to hold them publicly accountable for their actions. The practice has been highly criticized by some, but more than half of young people say it has been effective at creating social change and 85% say they would stop buying from a brand they are loyal to because of a scandal.
For more insight into how brands can handle controversy, what young consumers are expecting from brands during this historic year, and how their activism is affecting their purchases, download YPulse’s latest trend report, Not Waiting on the World to Change—and check out a infographic preview of the trend report below!
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