fbpx

Teens’ views on activism and cause marketing—why it matters for brands

by | Jul 17, 2018 | Public Relations

By now, we’ve all seen the compelling data as to why brands should invest in cause marketing—and a new study from teen and young adult-focused brand engagement agency Fuse supports those findings, with 67 percent of teens saying they were more likely to purchase from a company that supports a cause versus a company that does not.

Teens’ views on activism and cause marketing—why it matters for brands

But in the study, completed in June and surveying 2,000 U.S. teens between the ages of 14-17, the firm identified additional insights for brands as they consider their cause marketing programs.

Teens’ views on activism and cause marketing—why it matters for brandsWhat teens care about

One of the most interesting findings from our similar 2016 study was that the environment did not rank as a key concern of teens. But in our 2018 survey, the environment is back on the list. Ranked in order, the top five key concerns of teens are:

  • Education
  • Jobs and unemployment
  • Prejudice and racism
  • The environment
  • Terrorism

Teens’ views on activism and cause marketing—why it matters for brandsTeens have ramped up their activism

Another notable change since 2016 has been in teens’ more assertive activism. More than a quarter of respondents said they have “attended protests or rallies” or “boycotted a company” in the last year. In that same period, teens cited taking the following actions:

  • Recycled regularly (60 percent)
  • Educated family and/or friends about a cause (42 percent)
  • Volunteered their time to a cause (33 percent)
  • Donated money to a cause (22 percent)

Teens’ views on activism and cause marketing—why it matters for brandsTeens say corporations have an obligation to solve social issues

One of the most fascinating findings of our study is teens’ belief that corporations have the same obligations as teens themselves to help solve social issues. Sixty-eight percent said companies have an obligation to help solve social problems, while 67 percent said they themselves have that responsibility. Only 10 percent said neither they, nor corporations, have an obligation to solve social problems.

And how do teens think companies are doing? Not so well. Only 28 percent of teens think companies are doing enough to support causes teens care about.

Teens’ views on activism and cause marketing—why it matters for brandsCommunicating cause marketing authenticity to teens

After learning a company supports a social cause:

  • 69 percent of teens say they trust the company more
  • 62 percent said they are more likely to purchase the company’s products
  • 66 percent said they pay more attention to the company’s marketing/advertising

But teens are discriminating, if not skeptical:

  • 50 percent of teens said they believe a company’s cause marketing is genuine if it makes a financial donation to a cause
  • 50 percent of teens said they believe a company’s cause marketing is genuine if its employees work on the issue
  • 44 percent of teens said they believe a company’s cause marketing is genuine if the company communicates about their efforts in their marketing/advertising

Teens’ views on activism and cause marketing—why it matters for brandsTaking steps toward effective cause marketing

In Fuse’s 2016 study, the brands whose cause marketing efforts most resonated with Gen Z included Ben and Jerry’s, Chili’s, and the NFL. The 2018 study includes three new companies getting the attention of teens:

Daily PR Updates

Essential PR industry news, opinion, and analysis delivered to your inbox daily.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

RECENT ARTICLES

3 ways customers can be your best public relations resources

3 ways customers can be your best public relations resources

Techniques utilizing the best public relations practices will help ensure that your large company or small business gives a favorable general impression. Furthermore, when you believe in the adage that "public relations is everyone's business," you open your company...