Gen Z has gotten a bad rap. Yes – their faces may be glued to their smartphones, but don’t mistake that for a disinterest in what’s happening in the world around them. This generation is a force to be reckoned with – using their digital devices to spread social and environmental messages far and wide. But they’re not going it alone – they expect companies to be their partners in change. Companies: it’s time to enlist Gen Z to share your CSR message.
We are pleased to share our newest research, the 2017 Cone Gen Z CSR Study: How to Speak Z, which launched this week. This first of its kind study examines not only Gen Z’s attitudes and perceptions around CSR, but also how they’re willing to get involved for positive change.
Key findings include:
Gen Z Sees Social Media Activities as Impactful: 81% believe they can have an impact on social or environmental issues by using social media
Believe Companies Should Solve for Issues: More than any other generation, 94% believe companies should help address social and environmental issues (vs. 87% Millennial, 86% General Population)
Economic Security and Social Justice Issues are Hot Button Issues for Companies to Support: For Gen Z, both job creation (96%) and reducing the high cost of college (92%) are important, followed by racial equality (88%), women’s rights (86%), immigration and climate change (both at 81%)
Want to Buy “Good,” But Not Looking for CSR Info When Shopping: 89% would rather buy from a company supporting social and environmental issues over one that does not, but just 65% pay attention to company’s CSR efforts when deciding what to buy
Gen Z As Advocates Not Adversaries: This group is less likely to boycott a company (76% vs. 90% Millennial, 88% General Population) or protest to help a cause (58%)
This young consumer group already includes 60 million teens with $44B in spending power- and by 2020, Gen Z will account for 40% of all consumers. Now is the time for companies to gain insights on these digital natives to better understand how to engage with a generation that wants to make an impact on social and environmental issue, whether it’s online or in real life.