Millennials & Gen Z on the 10 Brands That Do the Most Good…& The 10 That Do the Least

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

We asked 1000 13-34-year-olds to tell us the brand they think that does the BEST job supporting a social cause, and which they think does the WORST…

These days, sex may no longer sell, but social good does. In response to Trump’s immigration ban last month, Starbucks made a commitment to hire 10,000 refugees, Airbnb offered free accommodation to those not allowed in the U.S., and Uber donated $3 million to drivers affected by the ban. The Guardian reports that it seems “companies are now attempting to outdo each other with major acts of generosity”—and making sure consumers know about it. We’ve also seen brands’ social good campaigns move to social media. Marketing like Land O' Lakes “Delete to Feed” and Heinz “Selfie For Good” are broadcasting companies CSR efforts, and letting consumers broadcast their own participation as well.

The race to show young consumers the difference they’re making in the world obviously comes from the long-standing understanding that Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to buy from brands that are doing some good, or support what they believe in. According to Ypulse’s recent monthly survey and Topline Report on causes, social good & thoughts on brand CSR, 82% of 13-34-year-olds buy products from brands that support the causes that they believe in and 82% say buying products from brands that have social good components makes them feel better about spending money. But the same survey also revealed some of their more complicated and emerging feelings on the topic. Brand CSR isn’t just a perk, it has become an expectation: 84% say that all brands should do some sort of social good/charitable work. And as more brands make social good a focus, the more skeptical they become: While 40% say being involved in charity/social good makes them trust a brand more, 59%…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I eat [Pizza Hut] least two times per month; it's one of my favorite places to go to eat pizza.”—Male, 35, VA

More Millennials are asking for cash wedding registries, and it’s bad news for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma. Increasingly, young couples are asking guests to contribute towards their nest egg, travel, or anything they feel like buying themselves. Companies like Zola and Honeypot have boomed in popularity, offering a personalized platform for their cash registries. However, their success with wedding registries is taking “a key customer acquisition tool” away from home décor stores. (Insider)

The beauty industry is catering to Customization Nation, as more companies crop up to blend unique beauty products for each customer. But can the trend scale? Truly personalized products, like the ones offered by hair care start-up Function of Beauty and makeup company Bite Beauty, take time and resources. But companies that offer base products with just a personalized element or two could be the future of the industry. And big-name brands are getting their feet wet too: Lancôme and CoverGirl have both offered custom-made foundations. (Glossy)

Nordstrom is taking risks to survive retail’s big shifts. Instead of shuttering stores, they’re opening experimental retail locations, revamping their department stores, and making their mark in Manhattan with their first store openings. The long-standing brand also bought ecommerce site HauteLook and the subscription service Trunk Club. So far, their risk-taking hasn’t proved to be a boon to their bottom line—but only time will tell. (WSJ)

Hollister is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to reach Gen Z with a YouTube series. “The Carpe Life” will be a part of a broader campaign, which includes influencer marketingand appeals to young consumers’ love for active, adventurous lifestyles. "The Carpe Life" follows Hollister's first YouTube series, “This is Summer” which “boosted key brand metrics by double digits,” adding on to their overall positive impact on Abercrombie & Fitch’s rising bottom line. (Marketing Dive)

Netflix is switching its strategy, putting less money into “prestige films” for the Post-TV Gen. Instead, they’re churning out more direct-to-video releases. Last year, they bought ten titles at Sundance while this year they had none. While they continue to create original content like the recent The Cloverfield Paradox, they’re betting on less-than-award-worthy films to maintain their hold on Millennial viewers. (The Atlantic)

“Basically if I found out any brand was supporting causes I do not support and actively oppose, I will avoid buying their products.”—Female, 27, CA

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