Millennial Demand for Corporate Social Responsibility Drives Change in Brand Strategies

Eden Ames
Marketing Health Services
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Key Takeaways

What? Brands are striving to capture millennial interest through corporate social responsibility. 

So what? Millennials represent $2.45 trillion in spending power and are 60% more likely to engage with brands that discuss social causes, according to Cone Communications. 

Now what? Millennials are attracted to brands linked to social causes but are also sensitive to authenticity. Companies need to be thoughtful and genuine about the causes they support in order to be effective. 

Millennials represent $2.45 trillion in spending power, reports Adweek, and according to Omnicom Group’s Cone Communications, 70% of them will spend more on brands supporting causes they care about. Consequently, social responsibility has become a considerable priority to brands targeting this segment. 

Portland-based independent advertising agency North has been partnering with big brands like Pacific Foods, Clif Bar and Columbia Sportswear to create social media campaigns that open the discussion of social responsibility with millennials. The tactic is well-grounded with Cone Communications reporting that millennials are 66 percent more likely to engage with brands when issues of social responsibility are brought to the forefront.

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“...A major challenge has been helping brands understand the difference between rallying behind a cause and standing for a purpose. Brands often want to randomly pick a cause even if they don't truly believe in it. Millennials will see right through that, said School CEO Max Lenderman. 

According to Lenderman, finding the right mission to back is key to capturing and maintaining interest. As corporate social responsibility persists as a major factor in building relationships with millennials, it is important for brands to pay attention to social causes and show sincere support rather than using social responsibility exclusively as a ploy.

Pacific Foods partners with advertising agency North to create the #NourishEveryBody campaign.

Author Bio:

Eden Ames
Eden Ames is a digital content producer for the American Marketing Association. She may be reached at
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