Meet the ‘Conscious Consumer’—traditional retail rules no longer apply

by | Apr 9, 2018 | Public Relations

New research from location data technology firm Blis identifies and defines a new, post-recession consumer type, and offers data-informed insights and recommendations about how brands can build loyalty with them. Characterized by a no-nonsense relationship with brands, the emerging “Conscious Consumer” has a sophisticated understanding of her value to the brands with which she engages—and takes a more active role as a result.

Quick to judge and slow to forgive, these consumers are motivated by the rational over the emotional when making purchasing decisions—a third of consumers will switch to a cheaper product if it’s of comparable quality, regardless of brand loyalty.

According to the firm’s new report, Unlocking the New Consumer Hierarchy of Need, over half (55 percent) of this group reports a “one strike and you’re out” rule, and almost three quarters (69 percent) can be swayed by a well-timed price drop, personal coupon or product ad all the way to checkout.

Meet the 'Conscious Consumer'—traditional retail rules no longer apply

“The retail landscape over the past decade has been turned on its head and the retailers who are thriving have adapted to these changes quickly. They understand that what was true of pre-2008 consumers is no longer so and have thrown out the old retail playbook,” said Gil Larsen, VP Americas at Blis, in a news release. “Our study examines consumer research married with our own location-based data to construct a new framework for retail brands who aren’t clear on how best to foster a relationship with this new Conscious Consumer.”

Conscious Consumers have a much clearer sense of their value to brands—from personal data and peer influence to financial import—with 65 percent willing to share data only if it provides them tangible benefits such as money saving or exclusive access. Combined with the wealth of information they are now used to having at their fingertips, the conclusion is that brands have to work much harder not just to earn their attention, but also to keep and convert it into sales.

Meet the 'Conscious Consumer'—traditional retail rules no longer apply

“For those able to navigate the new rules, there are a number of positive takeaways,” Larsen added. “Not least the fact that, while they research and compare on larger financial investments, these new consumers are spontaneous when it comes to lower cost, in-the-moment buys. Almost three quarters (83 percent) spend up to $50 per week this way, while the remaining 17 percent admit to spending $50+ on ad hoc items. This represents a significant amount of revenue on the table for brands that get it right.”

Meet the 'Conscious Consumer'—traditional retail rules no longer apply

With brands still coming to terms with the new retail landscape—as seen by the multitude of store closures—the research paper provides clarity for what these new Conscious Consumers want and offer guidance on how brands can best interact with them, especially through the use of location insights.

Download the full report here.

Blis conducted market research through AYTM, surveying 2000 consumers across the United States at every socio-economic level, to uncover shopper preferences and how they like to best interact with brands, creating a new hierarchy of needs for brands to address.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter