Advertising, branding, marketing and business operations are changing — they have to; consumerism is evolving. Retail companies are aiming to market to millennials but are struggling to do business with what people are calling “the least-loyal generation’.

Generation Y and the millennials, aged from 18-33 in 2014, make up for a huge percentage of the consumer market — and businesses need to get on board with their purchasing habits and understand where they’re coming from. Notorious for short attention spans, a love for all things digital, having smart phones tethered to their palms, more liberal views on social issues and an understanding of sustainability — this large group of consumers is a challenge for retailers.

But there’s good news for green retailers — GlobeScan CSR and sustainability expert Eric Whan is calling the millennial socially responsible consumer an ‘aspirational’ and they’re the target for sustainable companies, according to GreenBiz.

“88 percent of Americans would stop buying a company’s product if they learned of the company’s irresponsible or deceptive business practices,” according to a survey completed by Cone Communications.

This group of consumer’s would like that fact on social media meaning there’s an importance on green images and an appreciation for those with sustainability initiatives.  Here’s how to appeal to them.

If your business hasn’t already, tap into social media

The average millennial has an account on multiple social media platforms — and according to CNBC, social media is a popular method of research when it comes to looking into brands.

“It’s increasingly important for brands to have a presence on Facebook, where Pew reports 81 percent of millennials have an account. Their average number of friends is 250, according to the survey, well above Gen Xers’ 200 or younger boomers’ 98,” reports CNBC.

Social media is also a good place for companies to plug their sustainability and social responsibly efforts as millennials are especially receptive. A brand with a green image and good product is something a millennial is proud to follow and like. 

Have a solid website and promote sustainability

Super tech-savvy, the Aspirational consumers gather most of their information online — prefers it presented in a short, conversational and creative manner. In fact, a recent study completed by The Intelligence Group found that 72 per cent of millennials scope out stores online before actually going into it. State your company’s sustainability and environmental efforts and you’ll attract the millennials.

“Millennials are also the largest demographic purchasing electronics and fashion apparel,” reports Forbes, “According to Bloomberg Businessweek data, Millennials ages 25-34 spend 8% more on apparel than those ages 35-44, even though they earn 22% less.”

After all, it’s the millennials who are doing the spending.

Social responsibility is also attractive

Growing up in a culture that slams down sexism, promotes racial diversity and with an understanding of serious environmental issues, millennials are sensitive to stereotypes and care about supporting companies who are socially and environmentally aware.

In fact, companies who fail to follow through with these types of initiatives not only receive the boycott — but they’ll get called out on it on various social media platforms.

“26% of millennials have used social media to share negative information about companies they feel aren’t living up to their promises, compared to 20% of respondents on average,” repots MarketingCharts.

This generation is less business and more personal — and if they see your business as socially responsible and the people behind it as decent human beings doing their part, they will gravitate towards your brand. 

Be apart of an app or create your own

This generation loves apps. Have your business listed on the popular ones and consider getting your company its own — the millennials love apps.

For companies with a genuine drive for sustainability and environmentalism, this millennial generation is your ideal consumer. It’s really only a matter of getting their attention.


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Image credit: aqui-ali