Driving home from New York recently my husband and I were reflecting on how great it is to finally feel we are in the mainstream of collective thought. Most of our lives we've cared about global warming, organic food, personal growth, alternative medicine, organizational culture. We felt like part of a fringe culture.
I remember years ago a friend saying to me, "I'm glad someone is taking care of these things."
Now we feel like part of a huge tribe that shares our values. That feeling was confirmed by the recent BBMG (a New York-based design firm) report called Unleashed: How New Consumers Will Revolutionaize Brands and Scale Sustainability.
Read their five take aways for reaching the 70 million New Consumers in the U.S. (also called the Conscious Consumer).
#1: Deliver Total Value: The new Consumer Wants It All. You need to show that your product provides a triple value proposition. It's practical (i.e. great style, economical, durable). It's social and environmental (i.e. local, fair, sustainable). And it's tribal (i.e. connects the Conscious Consumer to a community that support their values.)
#2: Paint a Big Picture: Conscious Consumers Are asking What's in it for We? Your product needs to show the story behind the brand. New Consumers want to know not just how your product is helping them, but also how it's helping a larger community .How does your brand connect them to a larger we?
#3: Be Their Campion: Conscious Consumers Are Taking Control. Help them do it themselves. In today's independent world new consumers are designing their own clothes, fixing their own homes, growing their own food. Give them the tools that empower them to build a community that supports their needs.
#4: Make More Out of Less: Conscious Consumers Want Simplicity and Meaning. New consumers want less. Can you find a way to help them share, rent or borrow? Think Zipcar, Capital bikeshare, community-supported agriculture. Help them feel the freedom of fewer possessions and bring them into a community that provides meaning to their lives.
#5: Invite Them In: Participation is the New Consumption. With social media on the rise, the New Consumer wants--and demands--to be a part of your brand's world. They are giving their opinions on products, policies and practices. Instead of avoiding embarrassing Yelp! reviews--embrace the trend, and find ways to invite the Conscious Consumer to co-create your brand.
In the new world it's about living into your values and bringing people into your brand community. So that your employees, your partners and your consumers feel they are part of a tribe.
Company culture drives the tribe, the story and ultimately your brand value. BBMG head Raphael Bemporad's final words of wisdom? He says, "Culture is the future of branding."