Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Conscious Consumer Niche Market: What They Are And How To Become One

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The conscious consumer niche market is a growing and lucrative one. Conscious consumers are shoppers who want to make conscious buying decisions, by purchasing local, ethical, and environmentally friendly products. They are more frequently choosing which companies to shop with based on how environmentally or socially conscious they are – or at least project themselves to be.

In 2020, investors put $51 billion into ESG-impact funds (Environmental, Social, and Governance), accounting for roughly half of the total money raised throughout the year.

Businesses are seeing long-term benefits to adopting a more sustainable approach. With 92% of business respondents agreeing that companies with commitments to ESG policies will outperform competitors without such practices, it’s clear that businesses understand the advantages of going green.

As you can see, the ESG market is enormous and seems to be just getting started. If you’re passionate about the environment and social issues and want to make a positive difference in the world, this is an excellent niche market for your business.

What is a conscious consumer market?

The conscious consumer is a shopper who is increasingly choosing to make conscious buying decisions, by purchasing local, ethical, and environmentally friendly products.

They are more frequently choosing which companies to shop with based on how environmentally or socially conscious they are. Or at least project themselves to be.

This massive market has grown to almost a third of Kiwi consumers. These consumers identify with the LOHAS values – Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, a market that focuses on personal, social, and environmental decision-making.

LOHAS wants to know where things come from; how they were made; what impact they will have on people or the planet – all these questions relate back to ethics (social responsibility), environment (climate change), and wellness (health). Brands need to take notice too as 60% say they would switch brands if there was another one available that had better ethical credentials.

The Conscious Consumer Niche Market: What They Are And How To Become One

Who Are The Conscious Consumer?

Gen Y – the millennials make up the largest percentage of this market, making up almost 30% of Kiwi consumers. These consumers identify with LOHAS values – Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability – a market that focuses on personal, social, and environmental decision-making.

The increasing popularity of conscious consumers has allowed for the emergence of vegan, environmentally friendly, and cruelty-free versions of traditional goods. If a product is frequently purchased by the general public, there will undoubtedly be a group of conscientious customers looking to buy a more sustainable option.

Previously, businesses wanting to appeal to this segment of the population might give a portion of revenue to a charity, but most clients nowadays care about how food is grown and obtained as well.

Take chocolate bars as an example. Soon, people won’t just choose chocolate for its taste, anymore; they’ll pick brands that produce ethically and have a higher purpose than profit, and who also provide value and flavor.

A study published in the Journal of Business Research in August 2016 explains the creation and validation of a new research instrument called the ethically concerned consumer behavior (EMCB) scale. The notion that environmentally conscious consumption choices exist within a spectrum of consumption alternatives regarding corporate social responsibility was conceived.

The scale has been developed and extensively tested among consumers in the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, and Japan. It demonstrates dependability, validity, and metric measurement invariance across these different nations. The research offers researchers and practitioners a much-needed and simple-to-administer valid and reliable instrument on ethics concerning consumer behavior.

This is one of the most comprehensive studies we’ve seen on conscious consumption.

Conscious Consumer Pay a Premium

A niche in the conscious consumer industry might be a good option for your firm since a conscious shopper is more likely to pay a premium for something that they believe is beneficial.

In fact, conscious consumers have been reported to be 23% more likely than other consumers to pay a premium on products that are grown or sourced locally and made with natural ingredients, while also being 40% less likely to purchase a product when they know about animal testing.

What is a Conscious Brand?

A ‘Conscious Brand’ is attentive to people’s desires, moods, and culture and takes responsibility by assisting people, communities, and the environment.

To be a conscious brand is to be thoughtful and transparent, delivering positive change through the products and services available.

Conscious brands are also more likely to have a strong focus on sustainability, being environmentally conscious – finding alternative ways of reusing or recycling materials. They will often donate money, time, or resources to local communities in need too.

Focusing on a specific niche market in ESG allows you to become an expert in one area. The higher your level of expertise or leadership, the more your firm is perceived as an authority or leader in its sector. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: customers will want to buy from or deal with the most experienced and well-known business in the sector because it will offer them greater peace of mind.

How To Become A Conscious Brand

So how can you become a conscious consumer brand?

First, make sure that your business is run as responsibly and sustainably as possible – focus on reducing waste, using local suppliers, and working with ethical or eco-friendly brands if at all possible.

Second, be an active participant in the community by supporting charities and helping out where you can – this will help build up trust from potential customers who want to do their bit for society too.

And thirdly, understand what resonates with your target market so that you’re able to write blog posts about charitable causes they care about – whether it’s giving back to educational services via scholarships or building houses for underprivileged families #daretogive.

Don’t forget: being a conscious brand that is doing good means you need to back it up with action and not just talk. So,

  • Support local suppliers;
  • Work only with ethical brands;
  • Focus on sustainable business practices such as recycling or carbon offsetting schemes;
  • Be active in the community by supporting charities and helping out where you can – this will help build trust from potential customers who want to do their bit for society too;
  • Understand what resonates with your target niche market so that they feel like they’re part of a movement rather than an isolated shopper buying products without context.

Remind yourself that conscious consumers are individuals who are increasingly making deliberate purchases, such as local, ethical, and environmentally responsible goods.

Top Conscious Brands

This is not a new niche market, but it is an ever-changing one that follows the times. The conscious consumer is purchasing more responsibly, so companies wanting to succeed in this area must change and evolve with the times.

The conscious consumer is a global movement – it’s no longer just an American or Western European phenomenon: they’re everywhere now! So if you’re looking for your perfect brand match, don’t forget about Asia and even Africa too.

While there’s still work being done on understanding exactly why customers choose ethical products over less sustainable ones (are they driven by their values? Or is it all down to how much money we save?) what we do know is that today’s conscious consumers have strong buying power so tapping into this sector will pay dividends both commercially and financially as well as environmentally.

Here’s a study from Hall& Partners showcasing some of the top ‘conscious brands’ locally and around the world.

Top 10 Conscious Brands Worldwide

  1. Microsoft (technology)
  2. Headspace (mental health)
  3. YouTube (entertainment)
  4. Pfizer (pharmaceutical and biotechnology)
  5. Google (technology)
  6. Netflix (entertainment)
  7. Amazon (consumer goods, commerce)
  8. Disney (entertainment)
  9. AstraZeneca (pharmaceutical and biotechnology)
  10. Pixar (entertainment)

Top 10 Conscious Brands in China

  1. Huawei (technology and telecommunication)
  2. Microsoft (technology)
  3. Patagonia (clothing)
  4. Pfizer (pharmaceutical and biotechnology)
  5. Dr Martens (clothing)
  6. AstraZeneca (pharmaceutical and biotechnology)
  7. Kellogg’s (food)
  8. Net-a-porter (clothing)
  9. Johnson & Johnson ((pharmaceutical and biotechnology)
  10. Beyond Meat (food)

Top 10 Conscious Brands in the UK

  1. Google (technology)
  2. AstraZeneca (pharmaceutical and biotechnology)
  3. Microsoft (technology)
  4. BBC (entertainment)
  5. YouTube (entertainment)
  6. Headspace (mental health)
  7. Amazon (consumer goods, commerce)
  8. Oatly (food)
  9. Pfizer (pharmaceutical and biotechnology)
  10. Adidas (clothing)

Top 11 Conscious Brands We Adore

Here are some conscious brands we have used and adore.

  1. Patagonia (clothing)
  2. Kashi (food and snacks)
  3. Tom’s of Maine (Colgate toothpaste and body care products)
  4. Seventh Generation (household goods, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.)
  5. Eileen Fisher (clothing)
  6. Method (household cleaners and laundry detergent)
  7. Burt’s Bees (personal care products like shampoo, deodorant, etc.)
  8. Stonyfield Farm (organic yogurt drinks and ice cream alternatives)
  9. Ben and Jerry’s (ice cream)
  10. Kiss My Face (personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, etc.)
  11. Klean Kanteen (canteens that are BPA free)

Key Takeaways

Customers’ demands are at the heart of any business plan – you don’t need an MBA to understand that. But looking ahead is critical when it comes to long-term success; after all, living in the present has already put the planet’s future and people’s futures on shaky ground.

Keeping an eye on what conscious consumers are searching for and predicting how these needs will develop and change is critical to creating a future-proof company. It’s no longer enough for entrepreneurs to simply assure that their startup will survive. They must also ensure that the planet and its people do so as well.

LA STARTUPS
LA STARTUPShttps://lastartups.com
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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