How much does a millennial customer value ‘giving back’ as a concept while making purchase decisions?

Millennial purchasing power will soon exceed that of every other generation. However, the key factors that influence their purchasing decisions can sometimes be difficult to decipher. Selling to the millennial consumer today, often requires knowing and understanding these factors.

Buyer power has become so intense that the focus has shifted from the ‘caveat emptor’ to the ‘caveat venditor’. All businesses are a part of the society and dependent on it for inputs and outputs. If society doesn’t approve of our activities, the death of our institution becomes inevitable. With the employment phase, millenials have begun looking at the sustainability factor of a business house’s activities before making decisions.

Over the years, rise in the number of people making informed decisions instead of just getting wooed by advertisements have been witnessed. It is the social responsibility to portray credibility in these advertisements. Unless a positive image of the brand is put forward (which should also be rather true), the chances of the sales curve rising is almost negligible.

All successful brands have something in common — they not only keep their customer’s requirements in mind but also, acknowledge the answerability towards environmental hazards. Environmental audit is another concept doing the rounds. It refers to appointing a person to make sure that our activities are in line with the norms and are also socially responsible towards the betterment of the society. A Nielsen global online study found that almost three-out-of-four millennials would be willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings.

Using Resources at a Sensible and Sustainable level

Millennials are also the ones facing the consequences of the rampant use of resources. Hence it is only natural that they would want the companies they buy from to practice business sustainably and ethically. While day-to-day impact like rising temperature pinch people, intensive resource use by corporates is a significant contributor to environmental degradation. Everyday use of plastic straws clogs the Earth, so does large-scale dumping by large industries. The process of recuperation of the environment has to begin with the acceptance of one’s role in the degradation process. It’s high time we look at our mistakes square in the eye and then amend them.

Accounting for a third of India’s population, millenials are all set to take the centre stage in consumer markets and redefine India’s consumption story with their increasing number in the working age population. According to British Petroleum’s World Energy Outlook 2018, about 70% increase in global coal use would be to fuel India’s electricity. That’s a significantly high share. Predictions about resource extinction have been made as early as 2030. Given the alarming statistics, sustainable industry practices are a necessity, not an option.

Millenials and their Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

While human technological advancements have made it possible to sustain larger and larger population by exploiting more and more natural resources, the process of resource intensive industrialisation has harmed the environment. To pave the way for a greener future, the resource use would have to be minimised to a sensible and sustainable level. Artificially catalysed raw material production would have to be replaced with something more sustainable.

Businesses will have to vocalise their commitment to environmental protection if they want the support of the young generation. Millennials are not likely to pledge loyalty to a brand that is irresponsible and unaware. Unscrupulous practices driven solely by a profit motive will only lead to the business house becoming obsolete. Besides environment, millennials are looking for some major qualities in socially responsible companies.

As evidenced by the increase in demand for organic products, millennials are going back to nature. It is common knowledge that millennials on average are more risk-averse and are less likely to spend money unnecessarily than previous generations. But when they do decide to part with their money, they attach distinct values, predilections, habits and fears to their earning and spending habits. It’s not luxury but sustainability which they are after. As responsible socially conscious business practitioners, millennials are today prefering to do business with corporations and brands with pro-social messages, sustainable manufacturing methods and ethical business standards. As millennials become more engaged in the world and the environment around us, they are changing it for the better in their own unique ways.