Although moms stand out as the most socially conscious segment of consumers, according to the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study, it comes as no surprise that their Millennial-aged children (18-24), are close at their heels. Ninety-four percent believe cause marketing is acceptable, and more than half (53%) have purchased a cause product/service in the past 12 months (vs. 88% and 41% respectively for the average consumer).

The Millennial segment provides the clearest view of the nation’s future cause consumers – and the outlook is good. Nearly three-quarters (73%) are willing to try a new product they’ve never heard of if it supports a cause. And, more than a quarter (26%) are willing to pay more for products associated with a good cause.

Ford is looking to capture the attention of this segment through the allure of cause marketing. As part of a new collaboration with Pandora, a Web radio station popular with digital-natives (a.k.a. Millennials), Ford will make a donation to one of two charities, chosen by featured artists John Legend and Jewel, every time Pandora users share a “mixtape” by either musician. This is sure to strike a note with Pandora’s Millennial users, while also promoting the integration of the Pandora service into Ford vehicles.

More than their counterparts in other age categories, Millennials are even willing to keep the greater good in mind when making decisions outside the store – 87 percent consider a company’s cause commitments when deciding where to work. Companies are putting this into practice, for example Deloitte (client) uses its community involvement initiative as a core recruiting differentiator.

Millennials are entering our workforce and marketplace with a fierce sense of social and environmental responsibility. Whether companies are trying to recruit the next generation of talent or differentiate on the shelf, aligning with a cause is a powerful way to prepare for the future. 


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