Consumers have lately been demanding that the brands they support take stands on societal and cultural issues, and a new survey report from 5W Public Relations reveals that nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of all respondents say it’s important to them to buy from companies that align with their values. Even more notable, a whopping 83 percent of Millennials say it’s important—illustrating a growing trend towards cause marketing, especially among younger consumers.
The general public as a whole has become more aware of the social and political landscape, with 59 percent of people surveyed saying they like to buy products that show off their social or political ideologies or beliefs. When broken down by age category, 21 percent of Baby Boomers, 50 percent of Generation X and 62 percent of Millennials agreed with the statement, again showcasing the importance of activism in marketing to younger generations.
CEO and senior executives’ salaries have long been under scrutiny, but now, so are their values, actions and beliefs. Sixty-five percent of people surveyed agree they like it when CEOs of companies speak out on issues they care about. Furthermore, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Millennials surveyed agreed they were in favor of activist CEOs.
“Our research found that the younger the consumer, the more likely they are to want the companies they buy from to represent their ideologies,” said Ronn Torossian, 5WPR CEO and founder, in a news release.
“There are many dangers associated with adjusting messaging to reflect this want,” he added. “It’s important to stay authentic to your brand and support a cause for the long run, or risk looking like you’re jumping on the bandwagon to make a buck. It’s a tight rope to walk.”
More and more, governance is playing a significant role in reputation, brand perception, and now, purchase decisions. Fifty-eight percent of people surveyed have boycotted a company they have previously purchased from because of their stance on an issue.
The data in 5WPR’s Consumer Culture Report was collected from an online survey that ran from November 13 to 18, 2019 by MARU/Matchbox on behalf of 5WPR. The survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of N=1001 American adults aged 18+. The report includes unique consumer statistics on industries, buying behaviors by generation, social media marketing, corporate image, brand activism and more.