2020 has been a whirlwind to say the very least. Racial injustice, a pandemic that swept the globe, climate change, detrimental natural disasters, and economic uncertainty are fueling voters and their decision-making processes for the upcoming election. In general, younger generations have not been the most inclined to head to the polls and vote. However, that is all changing in 2020. (but what isn’t?) Our government, and politics in general, have historically been white-focused, and ruled by elder-power. In the upcoming 2020 election however, we are seeing a shift from tradition into more of a focus on younger generations, as millennials and Gen Z’ers are demanding political change.
Young people are more involved in politics than ever, and they are feeling the weight of their vote for the November election. Majority of the protestors against racial injustice have been in their 20’s. Younger generations are the most active on social media platforms, meaning their voices are being heard/spread faster than we’ve ever seen. Young people, though not hit the hardest by the actual virus, have indeed been faced with the consequences of COVID-19 on their economic stability. In fact, more than half of those aged between 18-29 either lost their job or took a significant pay cut as a result of the coronavirus. Electorally, 2020 will be the first poll where generations younger than age 40, especially millennials, will dominate voting.
“America is moving from largely white, baby-boomer-dominated politics and culture in the second half of the 20th century to a more racially diverse country fuelled by younger generations: millennials, Gen z-ers and their juniors.”
(The Economist, 2020).
With younger generations becoming more involved in politics, they are expecting brands and companies to speak to and act on important issues. It is no longer enough to just have a mission statement that vaguely promotes positivity and inclusivity. Brands must address and show action towards socio-political issues if they want to stay relevant for younger audiences. 60% of the US population, and 78% of those aged 18 to 34, expect brands to take a stand against racial injustice. (Forbes, 2020). Not only do brands have the opportunity to fight injustices, but they can increase consumer loyalty by showing their stance on issues that matter. Gone are the days where purchasing decisions are strictly determined by price, because younger generations are ultimately willing to pay more for brand equity.
The world is changing fast; 2020 can attest to that. Now is the time to be a part of the change, rather than just sitting back and watching it happen. We have the opportunity, and the right, to make our own political decisions; a critical role as an American citizen. With that being said, it is crucial for voters to remain educated not only on current events, but on the very people who are up for election in November. It will make all the difference.