The Conscious Consumer: Who they are and why you need to know about them

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I’ve been watching this for a while and wondering if others have noticed it too.

The modern-day consumer is more aware and conscious than ever before. For us as marketers, copywriters and business owners, we need to be more aware of what we do when we sell to them.

You may be thinking… “what the f^*k is a conscious consumer?” Great question!

Let’s start by revealing what they’re not… They’re not tree hugging hippies, hipsters, new age healers, psychic mediums, “woo-woopreneurs” or conspiracy theorists.

In fact, they are people like you and me.

They’re people who are aware of the sales and marketing tactics being used on them. And they’re quick to call “B.S.” on anyone who tries to trick or deceive them.

Now the next question you’re probably asking is “why should we care about the ‘conscious’ consumer?” Isn’t this just a passing phase that’ll go away soon… then we can get back to ‘real’ selling?”

Well, that’s what marketers once said about selling to women.

And we all know how that worked out for them. Some took a pounding but slowly recovered over time. However, many others became as extinct as the dinosaurs they truly were. (Bankruptosarus!)

Women now make over 85% of all the buying decisions and influence the rest. The fad or phase hasn’t passed and if anything, it looks to be getting stronger.

So, to ignore the conscious consumer because you don’t know who they are would be at the peril of your business (or worse… your client’s).

As Dan Kennedy says… “We Don’t Sell to Virgins!” We never truly start the sales process at zero.

Even before we start selling, we are sitting at a minus number and depending on the industry, you could easily be at minus 1,000,000! (Think Real Estate and used car sales).

Of course, knowing exactly who you are marketing to and their level of awareness (like Eugene Schwartz discusses in the brilliant book ‘Breakthrough Advertising’) is critical. But these days, we also need to consider the consumer’s level of “consciousness.”

The tools we have in our magical bag of persuasion can end up being a double-edged sword for us.

Used in the right way, the prospect trusts you, buys from you and will continue to do so… provided you give them a reason to. Use them the wrong way… they’ll have a diabolical impact on your immediate and future success.

You see, the conscious consumer is looking for more from the businesses and companies they deal with. From what I’ve seen, the conscious consumer has quite a few basic needs. Here’s 3 of them:

Need #1:  Be Purpose Focused Not Profit Driven

The conscious consumer understands that you need to make a profit to stay in business… but the profit needs to:

  1. Not be at their expense
  2. Be used mindfully and
  3. They need to “approve” of the cause you support

They want to know what you stand for and what you don’t.

The conscious consumer wants to know (and will find out) how the profits you make from them are utilized. And if they don’t approve… they will boycott you.

Companies who use Palm Oil are boycotted (unless it is sustainably grown) due to the destruction of vital Orangutan habitats. Banks who fund mining lose customers who are environmentally aware. Café’s or restaurants who disapprove of breastfeeding in public are boycotted by mothers and their supportive friends.

And now we have companies with strong political affiliations being put on the boycott list.

This may make you think “so what?” or think that it is not a big issue. If you’re a business owner, that kind of thinking could be dangerous to your future.

Are you ticking the right boxes or making the conscious consumer cross?

Need #2:  Value Driven Not Price Driven

No matter what they are buying, every customer wants value for money. And when I say value, I don’t mean what it is physically worth. I mean what it is worth to them.

To the conscious consumer, the price is still important, but not as important as the value they receive.

So, what kind of value do they want? They want an experience and to know you have considered their needs. And the best part… they’ll pay a premium to get it.

To sell effectively to the conscious consumer, you need to work out what is important to them and give it to them.

Need #3:  Be Honest And Don’t Fake It

This is simple, don’t promise what you can’t deliver!

The conscious consumer sees any form of “fakery” from miles away. And they have a very highly tuned B.S. detector.

They’ll pick up any tiny discrepancies… and then tell everyone they know about it. (I’m sure you’ve seen it on Social Media).

Also, you never want to fake empathy. When it comes to marketing and copy, a lot of people fake empathy in their writing and it is obvious.

When I wrote a package for the “pensioner” market a few years ago, I wrote about a “Teabag Pensioner Test.” The only reason that copy worked was because I had empathy for the reader. The letter was a huge success.

Any insincerity causes an instant disconnect that sends people running.

True empathy leaves a huge impact on the reader… fake empathy leaves a condescending, empty, almost “ripped off” feeling in the reader. Don’t try to fake it ‘till you make with the conscious consumer.

The Conscious Consumer Is Cashed Up

And Ready To Buy… From The Right Person

They won’t begrudge you making money… but they don’t want to be treated like a cash cow either.

They expect more from you as a business owner and when you give it to them, you have a customer for life. Your careful consideration of their needs results in loyal, raving fans. Which are rare in this super skeptical world.

Read more of my insights into the Conscious Consumer and download my Conscious Consumer report at www.TheCopyAlchemist.com

 

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Pauline Longdon
Pauline Longdon
Pauline Longdon is an Emotional Direct Response Copywriter, Marketer and Mentor. She specializes in writing converting copy that connects with the Conscious Consumer. You can read more of her articles and download her Conscious Consumer report at www.TheCopyAlchemist.com
Showing 14 comments
  • Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero
    Reply

    Fantastic article, Pauline! I agree that “conscious consumers” aren’t just the woo woo hippies. They are people who like to be treated with respect and who give a damn about their environments (mental, physical and spiritual). You nailed.

    Lo

    • Pauline Longdon
      Reply

      Thanks Lo! Respect is critical with the Conscious Consumer. And when they get it… they are more than happy to return it.

      Cheers, Pauline

  • Tamyn
    Reply

    What is a Woo-WooPreneur ?

    • Pauline Longdon
      Reply

      Hey Tamyn, A “woo-woopreneurs” is usually a person who is a heart based entrepreneur who hates selling… but likes people buying their stuff.

      Cheers, Pauline 🙂

  • Leigh Baker
    Reply

    The LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health And Sustanability) market accounts for 100 million consumers world-wide and represents a marketplace worth more than $500 million – can we afford NOT to take on accountability? (Or to miss out on the opportunities for innovation that this new perspective on business creates?)

    • Pauline Longdon
      Reply

      Great insight Leigh! This market will continue to grow and is not one that should be ignored.

      Cheers, Pauline

  • Maree Crosbie
    Reply

    Excellent article Pauline and about time that this type of information is out in the public domain. As the world we live in becomes less authentic each day more people will become conscious consumers. I often see companies with grand Value statements but the reality of the day to day practice is very different.

    • Pauline Longdon
      Reply

      Thanks Maree. People crave authenticity and consideration. I think they are some of the easiest and most inexpensive things we can give our customers.

      Cheers, Pauline

  • Antoniya Koleva Zorluer
    Reply

    I think the transition to “conscious consumers” has just started and will explode in the future when more and more people become aware that THEY have the power now, not the salesperson. In the future, hopefully, all consumers will be conscious, educated and hard to trick… This will force businesses to be more authentic and offer higher value or go home… Sounds like a better world to me! Loved the article 🙂

    • Pauline Longdon
      Reply

      Thank you . You are so right! People have more power than they realize. Businesses need to be aware of and ahead of the shift when it happens.

      It does sound like a much better world.

      Cheers, Pauline

  • Matthew Ambrose
    Reply

    A key factor, i think, is the fake news epidemic and the aggressive display ads promoted via taboola, outbrain and co. I wonder if agora is noticing declining response to ‘end of America’ style ads. Sensationalism is fun to write but there’s no longevity to it if you want to keep customers for the long haul.

    • Pauline Longdon
      Reply

      Great insight Matthew! The fake news is fatiguing people fast and will only make them more jaded. It will be interesting to see how this affects conversions.

      Cheers, Pauline

  • Bruce Wesley Chenoweth
    Reply

    Loved it! Thanks!

    • Pauline Longdon
      Reply

      You’re welcome Bruce 🙂 Thank you.

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