THE AGE OF THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER
During the past couple years, consumer behavior has dramatically shifted towards a desire for more conscious consumption. This is the age of the conscious consumer!
Lets first break down what the term of conscious consumerism means: Conscious consumerism is the act of purchasing products or services that benefit the world in some way with social and environmental considerations in mind.
This new trend of social change can directly correlate to the digital era that we now live in. Since the Internet is now a crucial part of every day life and businesses, we are now directly connected to the problems in the world around us. Think about it, nowadays it is much easier to be aware of societal issues due to social media and the onset of blogs. From what merely began as watching the 6 o’clock news to catch a glimpse of what was going on in the world, information is now streamlined to every crevice in the social media channel. Thus, people are now more inclined to help and do their part to change the world.
We are seeing a growing trend in the world where people are starting to give more than they receive. In 2013, a study by Cone Communications found that “91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to ones that support a good cause.” I mean, it makes sense right? Why buy a sweater from a non-cause-related company when you could be buying something equally comparable from a business that donates healthcare to a country in need?
GOOD DEEDS = GOOD FEELINGS
Additionally, there is a high correlation between giving and one’s happiness. Psychologists have found that giving money away is one of the greatest joys in life. “People who donate their dollars to charities or splurge on gifts for others are more content than those who squander all the dough on themselves,” says social psychologist Elizabeth Dunn. Therefore, helping someone in need is in part motivated by an interest in their own healing. Good deeds = good feelings.
As the world adjusts their values, companies must alter their business practices to follow this era or they may fall behind. Customers now have the power to generate a meaningful shift in the business model. The old paradigm of a for-profit corporation is shifting and now businesses can’t be driven solely by profit. Companies such as TOMS, Warby Parker, and Starbucks are great examples of this and prove to be an example to businesses around the globe.