The average millennial doesn’t pay too much attention to brands' ethical and political positions.
Just 15% of US millennial internet users say they pay a “great deal” of attention to these issues, and 38% said they only give it “some” thought, according to a June 2018 Morning Consult survey.
What many millennials really focus on is cost and quality. Some 85% of respondents said that a product or service that is "well priced, given the quality" is the top attribute that drives their loyalty, and 81% said they’re loyal to reliable brands.
By comparison, qualities such as ethics and transparency were felt to be less likely to drive loyalty.
While a brand's character may not be the single most important factor for many consumers, that doesn't mean it is not a contributing factor.
A survey by Cone Communications and Porter Novelli found that 88% of US consumers would buy from a “purpose-driven brand.” Product quality was the leading attribute influencing buying decisions for 41% of respondents, while 39% said cost was the most significant factor. That compares with 20% who said a brand’s purpose was the most critical attribute.
The Cone/Porter Novelli study found cost and quality outranked purpose when respondents considered whether they would tell others to buy from the company.
A fall 2017 YA report found that a brand’s relationship with charitable organizations has at least some impact on purchase decisions. Similar to the Cone/Porter Novelli data, the YA survey found a smaller percentage sharply focused on brands' philanthropy, but the topic clearly affects buying attitudes.