Some people say it's wrong to be involved in an industry like market research that supports 'mindless, rampant consumerism'. Those sorts of comments used to make me feel bad about myself. I struggled to defend myself but it was hard. After all I helped launch many successful supermarket products and improve many a service offering, all designed to make people buy more and spend more. It made me think, 'shouldn't I be using my skills to improve the world?'
In the past, conscious consumers have found it difficult to make informed choices about the goods and services they buy. However, the explosion of digital technology and social media is fast bringing this challenge to an end. Today it is easier than ever for consumers to identify and reward companies behaving in socially responsible ways.
The conscious consumer is someone who is aware their everyday purchase decisions are a means of bringing about positive change in the world. This could include buying fair trade, organic, locally made, environmentally friendly, animal friendly (including free from animal testing / free range / cruelty free) and products that are free from
We are seeing an unprecedented trend amongst consumers toward goods and services they can enjoy with a clear conscience. It’s happening across all categories, even in fast food. Consumers have been expressing more preferences for quality, wholesome ingredients, ethical farm practices and
As a consumer researcher I firmly believe that consumers hold the power to shape how brands behave. Although brands are not without some influence in the marketplace, ultimately the balance of power sits with the end user - especially in today’s world where consumers are inundated with choice and information in every category. If brands engage in profiteering or harmful and destructive behaviors then consumers can do one of two things. They can endorse the behavior and ensure it continues by purchasing the brand’s products or services, or they can choose better behaved brands. If enough consumers do the
I have recently had my nose in a great book called Digilogue by Anders Sorman-Nilsson. Fantastic read. Highly recommended for any business or brand wanting to identify ways and means of engaging with consumers in the digital age. Anders believes the most successful brands in the future will be those who manage to integrate a brand experience across online and offline channels - integrating 'digital' with 'analogue'. I would have to agree.
Even when it comes to relatively quick and inexpensive purchases, consumers still show their capacity to enhance their experience by layering online and offline channels on top of one another. For example, customers at Starbucks can track where the beans were sourced that
Donna Bonde is the Owner and Director of Rapture Consulting. She consults to agencies and brands who want to better understand the way consumers think and behave. She bases herself in Sydney, Australia.