Why Favorite Brands of Millennials Should Give a Damn About Social Issues

Poll Reveals 1/3 of Working Young Americans Have Never Voted

By Valerie-Salinas Davis

Austin, Texas–A new poll by EnviroMedia Inc. reveals that one-third of America’s young workforce have never voted. However, with school walkouts and major brands like Dick’s Sporting Goods taking a stand to change gun control laws, civic apathy among young working consumers could very likely change in 2018–and it could be very good for business.

“In the past few days, we saw high school students walking out for stronger gun control, declaring in widespread media coverage, ‘I’m 18, and I’m going to vote this year so we can change these laws,’” said EnviroMedia Cofounder and CEO Valerie Salinas-Davis.

EnviroMedia’s poll, fielded March 12, 2018, found Dick’s to be by far the favorite sporting goods store brand among “Working Millennials” and that Dick’s fans are talking more about increasing gun control than the overall audience surveyed.

“Brands With Social Purpose” is the first edition in a new polling series by EnviroMedia measuring the connection between America’s favorite brands and trending social issues. (Pollfish, mobile/online, n=400 Americans, age 22-34, margin of error ±5%)

“We chose Working Millennials as our first target audience because they’re just starting their adult lives and thinking about buying cars, homes, and consumer goods for their households and growing families,” says EnviroMedia Media Director Suzie Lopez. “We’ve also heard how Millennials care so much about social issues, so we decided to see just how much they’re talking about them and if there are any connections to their favorite brands.”

In EnviroMedia’s poll, 32 percent of Working Millennials chose Dick’s as their favorite sporting goods store, while the retail chain controls 19 percent of the market (Retail Dive, March 14, 2018). Meanwhile, Bass Pro Shops and Academy aligned more closely with their respective market shares. Ten percent of Working Millennials chose Bass Pro Shops (14 percent market share), and 9 percent chose Academy (11 percent market share).

Meanwhile, when it comes to how frequently Working Millennials talk with their friends, family and coworkers about “increasing gun control,” 79 percent of Dick’s fans discuss the issue “sometimes” or “often.” Overall, 65 percent discuss increasing gun control “sometimes” or “often.”

“Dick’s took a big risk, especially taking a stand just before reporting disappointing holiday sales, “ says Salinas-Davis. “But this poll certainly suggests they may be converting a few young consumers to their brand, as the overall retail market struggles.”

Other brand categories measured by EnviroMedia’s poll include cars, beverages, cell phones, computers, airlines, pharmacies, and banks/credit cards. In addition to gun control, the poll also measured discussion levels of racial justice/immigration, LGBTQ rights, gender equity, sexual harassment, and the opioids crisis.

“It’s not news that brands need to stand for something,” says Salinas-Davis. “But it’s becoming a new reality that consumers are turning more and more to corporate America to help make positive social change that the political establishment cannot. The more civic action that takes hold among Millennials this year, the more they will expect corporate America to stand for something, and if it’s authentic and communicated appropriately, it could be very good for business.”