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Research identifies the new ‘Conscious Consumer’ where traditional retail rules no longer apply


There’s a new, post-recession kind of consumer in town: the ‘Conscious Consumer’ – and they are changing everything you need to know about marketing.

Characterized by a no-nonsense relationship with brands, the ‘Conscious Consumer’ has a sophisticated understanding of their value to the brands with which they engage and take a more active role as a result. According to location specialist Blis – which uncovered the new breed of consumer in its research for the report Unlocking the New Consumer Hierarchy of Needs more than half (55%) of these people report a ‘one strike and you’re out’ rule and almost three quarters (69%) can be swayed by a well-timed price drop, personal coupon or product ad all the way to the checkout.

Quick to judge and slow to forgive, they 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.

“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,” says Gil Larsen, VP Americas at Blis. “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.”

The Conscious Consumer has a much clearer sense of their value to brands — from personal data and peer influence to financial import–with 65% 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.

“For those able to navigate the new rules, there are a number of positive takeaways,” says Larsen. “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%) spend up to $50 per week this way,  while the remaining 17% admit to spending $50+ on ad hoc items. This represents a significant amount of revenue on the table for brands that get it right.”

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.


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