Why Your Brand’s Position on Social Issues Matters More Than Ever

Millennials are 56% more like than Baby Boomers to advocate with their wallets –– they’re willing to pay more if a company’s values align with their own.


While all attention is on the Presidential election, these days, there’s growing pressure on companies to express their brand values and illustrate their stand on key social or political issues. You can see evidence of this pressure in daily headlines surrounding new brand initiatives to support charitable causes, and it’s become apparent that these actions are about more than driving a quick feel-good moment. A brand’s position on social issues today is a core component of its relationship with customers.

According to insights drawn from Resonate’s consumer intelligence platform, today’s U.S. consumers are significantly more likely to let their hearts and minds drive their wallets. They’re increasingly deciding which brands deserve their dollars based on the values they demonstrate as a company. In fact, 30 percent of U.S. adult consumers are willing to pay more for a product based on the brand’s corporate values and how those values align to their own.


There are also notable generational distinctions in how consumers shop based on brand values. For example:

  • Millennials are 56 percent more likely than Baby Boomers to choose a company or purchase a product if that company is perceived to listen to the public.
  • The Millennial tendency to support civic-minded brands only increases when considering environmental issues, such as whether a company has programs to reduce energy use. Millennials are 60 percent more likely to support companies with programs to reduce energy use than Baby Boomers.
  • Millennials are also 66 percent more likely to support a company’s use of “green” packaging.
  • Millennials are also more likely than other generations to choose a brand based on how they treat their employees.


In a recent thought leadership piece for Chief Marketer, Resonate CMO Ericka Podesta McCoy detailed the following four key requirements for resonating with consumers in today’s advocacy-driven world:

  • Choose causes that are authentic to your brand.
  • Understand the values and psychological drivers of your customers.
  • Align to customers’ preferred methods of civic expression to strengthen connections and drive loyalty.
  • Tap into human motives for supporting one brand over another.

When brands authentically take a stand on a cause or issue, they’re building emotionally resonant connections with their consumers by tapping into their values and motivations. For more insights, read Ericka’s full Chief Marketer article here. And stay tuned for our latest State of the Consumer Report, which will cover this topic in-depth launching in March 2020.

Categorized as: Consumer Insights, Brand

Ready to Put Resonate to Work?

Hundreds of consumer brands, ad agencies, and political and advocacy organizations are using Resonate’s consumer insights to make better connections with their customers and yours. Don’t let your competition get ahead.

Request a Demo