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Purpose-driven brands take stands on issues linked to human or planetary betterment. Instead of merely touting their products, they talk about social and environmental impact. Forbes says when brand owners add purpose to the equation, they are seeking a deeper relationship. Brands do so because they believe that’s how to appeal to millennials. Mark Ritson says like everything else with marketing, when there’s a bandwagon, everyone jumps on it. And when every brand stands for making the world a better place, none of them do. Even as the chorus of experts tells you to make your brand purpose-driven, the pendulum has already begun to swing the other way as overstatements and overclaims reach critical mass and come across as shallow and contrived. Brand consultant David B Srere says purpose-driven brands are “all marketing spin.”  Marketing Week says brands will move away from “doing good” and return to proper positioning.

But at least millennials still want purpose-driven jobs, right?

The same common wisdom that says millennials want to buy brands that have lofty ideals says they want to work for companies that are purpose-driven, too. We’ve all heard that finding purpose in their work is a critical factor for millennials and key to helping recruit, retain, and inspire a younger generation of workers. Fast Company says today’s young workers, more than any generation before, demand a sense of purpose in their jobs. So when LinkedIn’s survey of 3,000 millennials found them to be the least purpose-driven generation, it came as a shock to many. When asked about the most important criteria when considering a job, 54% of millennials said financial compensation, 45% said career advancement, and 37% said having a sense of purpose. Further, only 30% of millennials prioritize purpose over pay, compared to 38% of Gen Xers and 48% of baby boomers. These results fly in the face of the assumptions many have made about the hierarchy of generations. 

There is more misinformation about millennials than real. 

As long as marketers want to chase millennials, they will also want the easy way to do it. And that is why they rely so heavily on platitudes and empty promises. Hey, people, sometimes it’s just a burrito.

Please send this article to a friend whose company wants to attract millennials.

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