Millennials (aged 21 to 34) worldwide are most willing to pay extra for products and services from companies committed to sustainability, according to a November 2015 report from global market research firm Nielsen. Almost three-quarters of this generation favour ethical brands – an increase from about half in 2014.
- Conscious-Buying Boom: The number of global consumers prepared to pay more for sustainable products is growing. Personal values are becoming more important than personal benefits, such as cost or convenience. Overall, two-thirds are willing to spend more on sustainable goods in 2015, compared with just over half in 2014.
- Ethical Gen Z: A rising number of Gen Z (aged 15 to 20) would pay more for products from brands committed to positive social and environmental change, with an increase from 55% in 2014 to 72% in 2015. "Brands that establish a reputation for environmental stewardship among today's youngest consumers have an opportunity to build loyalty among the power-spending millennials of tomorrow," says Grace Farraj, public development and sustainability expert at Nielsen.
- Income's Irrelevant: It's not just the wealthy cohorts who'll devote their dollars to sustainable offerings. Those earning $20,000 or less are slightly (5%) more willing to spend their money on products associated with positive social or environmental impact than those with incomes of $50,000 or more (68% vs. 63%).
Brands should focus messages on causes that matter to resonate with caring consumers – see IRDC 2015: Ethical Brand Behaviours & Local-Centricity and Sustainable Futures Update: The Consumer of 2030 for more.