It seems that Millennials may have been given a bad rap and truth is very different from their traditional stereotype. In fact, Millennials are actually poised to be one of the most generous generations in history, giving more than twice as much time and money to charitable causes than both of the generations before them. In 2016, Millennials also became the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, giving them considerable spending power. It should come as no surprise then, that Millennials expect more from the businesses that create the products and services they consume than prior generations.
It should also come as no surprise as Millennials begin to take the reigns of many long-standing companies or even found new companies themselves, their own values are having a strong impact on corporate values. As a generous and giving generation, they care about far more than just the bottom line. In fact, the triple bottom line may matter far more to Millennials than any generation prior. Millennials also care much more about corporate transparency, corporate philanthropy, and even corporate social responsibility.
Businesses and consumers have and have always had a fairly symbiotic relationship. On the whole, consumers actually hold far more influence over corporate policies and practices than even governments. In fact, even governmental pressures are generally instigated in response to consumer pressures. Even when there are no laws governing certain corporate behaviors, consumer pressure can help mold and shape any number of corporate policies and behaviors. As consumers themselves become more concerned with the actions and behaviors of corporations, those same corporations will have little choice but to bow to consumer pressure if they hope to remain in business.
Today’s consumers care just as much about how a product or service was created as they do about the product or service itself. They care just as much about what a company does with its profits as they do about how much profit a company is making. They also don’t just care about the quality of a product but even what happens to the product after it no longer serves a viable purpose. For businesses to remain competitive in the remaining portion of the 21st century, corporate social responsibility will only gain in importance. The business leaders of tomorrow will not just be the most profitable companies but also the most socially responsible.