Sabrina Sanchez
Jul 27, 2021

Millennials are optimistic about brand values and activism. Gen Z is not

A study by MullenLowe shows Gen Z expresses ambivalence towards brands.

Millennials are optimistic about brand values and activism. Gen Z is not

General consensus in the industry is that younger generations, especially Gen Z, expect brands to engage in social activism. 

But a study by MullenLowe shows millennials are more likely to feel optimistic about brand values. 

According to the study, which surveyed 1,000 Americans, Millennials on average (50%) agreed with the statement: “When I make a purchase decision, a brand’s values are more important than their prices,” at a higher rate than Gen Z (43%). 

Millennials are more likely to feel the most effective way to boycott a brand is to directly hurt their bottom line, either by getting friends and family to stop purchasing from the brand (48%) or start purchasing from a competitor themselves (46%). 

But Millennials are more optimistic about the role brands can play in society overall. According to the study, 56% of Millennials trust brands to put the interests of the public ahead of their own, and 28% “strongly agree” brands can affect long-lasting change. Gen Z doesn’t have as much faith in brands, with only 17% “strongly agreeing” brands can impact change. 

In fact, Gen Z was more likely to express ambivalence about brands’ stances on social issues, with 28% reporting they “don’t care,” compared to 18% of millennials. 

Meanwhile, Gen Z is more likely to engage in civic activity (77%) compared to millennials (50%).

“Gen Z's aren't expecting anything lofty to come from a brand, so the next best thing is to get that audience to see a brand as serving a purpose for their needs and helping them,” said Jose Aniceto, director of behavioral science at MullenLowe U.S. and the author of the report. 

The data shows Gen Z is activist by nature and perceives brands’ efforts to portray social responsibility as inauthentic, Aniceto added.

“[Gen Z] has more to lose, in a sense, because they have to worry about the climate more than anybody. They have to worry about the health of communities more than anybody,” he said. “Gen Z doesn’t necessarily have those high expectations, but they're more likely to react in a way that is vocal and truly stand up and organize.” 

Source:
Campaign US

Related Articles

Just Published

3 hours ago

Edelman global revenue falls 3.7% to $1.04 billion ...

The independent agency’s performance was impacted by a 9.1% decrease in the US, while Asia-Pacific rose by 1.7%, with Korea, India and Singapore all posting gains.

4 hours ago

Google incorporates Gemini into Performance Max

The roll-out of Performance Max's enhanced generative AI capabilities will begin in the US in March in English, expanding globally thereafter.

4 hours ago

Women to Watch Greater China 2024: Amanda Ma, ...

Ma’s deep understanding of the Chinese market and its nuances, and the ability to unify and inspire diverse functional teams are instrumental in her holistic strategy to develop talent effectively.

5 hours ago

Looking back, looking forward: Tze Kiat Tan, BBDO Asia

In a fresh series, APAC adland CEOs share their hopes and fears for the year ahead and reflect on 2023. In this edition, we chat with Tze Kiat Tan, CEO of BBDO Asia.