The Conscious Consumer: Unraveling the mindset of the future

By the year 2035, millennials will be the largest spending generation in history—(18)

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The millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000, is a driving force in today's consumer landscape. To truly understand the mindset of millennials, it's important to delve into their spending habits, values, and the impact they have on the economy.

Sustainable and purposeful consumption:

Millennials exhibit a strong preference for sustainable and purpose-driven products. According to a 2020 survey by Nielsen, 73% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable goods, compared to 66% of global respondents across all age groups. They actively seek out brands that align with their values, placing importance on ethical business practices, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.

Influence of social media and online connectivity:

Millennials are the first generation to grow up with widespread internet access and the emergence of social media platforms. This has significantly shaped their behavior and attitudes towards consumption. They are highly influenced by social media platforms, with 40% of millennials stating that their favorite online influencers understand them better than their real-life friends. They rely on recommendations and reviews from peers and influencers when making purchasing decisions.

Experience-oriented spending:

Millennials prioritize experiences over material possessions. A study conducted by Eventbrite found that 78% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than things. This includes travel, dining out, attending concerts or festivals, and engaging in unique activities. They seek out experiences that provide them with personal fulfillment, create memories, and allow them to connect with others.

Tech-savvy and online shopping:

Millennials are known as the "digital generation" due to their proficiency in technology and online platforms. They are highly active online shoppers, with 32% of millennials preferring to make purchases online. The convenience, wide product selection, and personalized shopping experiences offered by e-commerce platforms appeal to their preferences. Furthermore, their high smartphone ownership (92%) makes mobile shopping a significant part of their consumer journey.

Financial challenges and saving habits:

While millennials are a consumer powerhouse, they face unique financial challenges. Many came of age during economic recessions and struggled to find stable employment. As a result, they often carry less credit card debt and have limited savings. According to a survey by GOBankingRates, the majority of millennials have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts or no savings at all. This financial situation influences their spending habits and their preference for value-driven purchases.

Workplace influence and economic power:

Millennials are also reshaping the workforce and the economy. By 2025, they are projected to account for 75% of the global workforce. This significant presence in the job market gives them greater economic power and decision-making authority. As they progress in their careers and increase their disposable income, their impact on consumer trends and market demands will continue to grow.

To effectively engage with millennials, businesses must align their brand values with those of this generation. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and purpose-driven initiatives is key to capturing their loyalty and driving sales. Investing in online marketing strategies, influencer collaborations, and providing personalized shopping experiences will also resonate with their preferences and enhance their overall customer experience.

Conscious Capitalism

Conscious Capitalism is a business philosophy and approach that goes beyond traditional profit maximization to include a focus on creating value for all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, communities, and the environment. It emphasizes the idea that businesses can be a force for good in society while still generating sustainable profits.

Stakeholder Orientation:

Conscious Capitalism recognizes that businesses have a broader purpose beyond solely maximizing shareholder value. It places equal importance on all stakeholders involved in the business, considering their well-being, interests, and long-term benefits. This approach fosters stronger relationships, trust, and collaboration among all stakeholders, leading to sustainable business growth.

Higher Purpose:

Conscious Capitalism encourages businesses to have a higher purpose beyond just making money. This purpose serves as a guiding principle that aligns with the company's core values and contributes positively to society. By focusing on a higher purpose, businesses can inspire and engage their employees, attract conscious consumers, and differentiate themselves in the market.

Conscious leadership:

Leadership plays a crucial role in driving the principles of Conscious Capitalism. Conscious leaders are guided by a moral compass and lead with authenticity, empathy, and transparency. They prioritize the well-being of their employees, nurture a positive corporate culture, and make decisions that consider the long-term impact on all stakeholders. Conscious leaders empower their teams, foster innovation, and create an environment where individuals can thrive and contribute their best.

Culture of trust and collaboration:

Conscious Capitalism promotes a culture of trust, collaboration, and shared values within organizations. It recognizes the importance of fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives. This culture of trust and collaboration encourages creativity, innovation, and continuous improvement, leading to better business outcomes.

Sustainable and ethical business practices:

Conscious Capitalism emphasizes the adoption of sustainable and ethical business practices. This includes minimizing environmental impact, embracing corporate social responsibility, ensuring fair treatment of employees and suppliers, and promoting ethical sourcing and manufacturing processes. By integrating sustainability and ethics into their operations, businesses can enhance their reputation, attract conscious consumers, and contribute to the well-being of the planet and communities.

Long-term value creation

Conscious Capitalism focuses on long-term value creation rather than short-term profits. It recognizes that sustainable business growth is achieved by considering the long-term consequences of decisions and actions. By taking a holistic view of success and considering the impact on all stakeholders, businesses can build resilient, adaptable, and enduring organizations.

Statistics show that the current level of inequality in capitalist societies is alarming. For example, in the USA, the richest 1% own 34% of the wealth, while the richest 10% own 74% of the wealth. This inequality can erode social order and create a backlash against the capitalist system. Furthermore, social problems such as obesity, teenage births, homicides, and imprisonment rates are more prevalent in the most deprived areas of society, which are also the areas most affected by inequality.

But there is hope. Conscious capitalism is a movement that has emerged in response to the changing values of consumers, predominantly millennials. Research shows that nearly 40% of millennials are more likely to buy a product or service when their purchase supports a cause. In addition, about 45% of millennials believe they can contribute to a cause they care about more easily through a company's program than on their own. This generation also prioritizes purpose and sustainability even more than financial rewards, and more than half are willing to pay extra for a "greener," healthier product.

Millennials understand the power of their dollar and are willing to vote with it. They trust that where and what they spend their money on can literally disrupt and reshape the world. By choosing brands that have values that align with the world they wish to stand for, they are more likely to buy from them, even if it means spending more. This new movement in business is leading the way by showing that doing good is indeed good for business. By aligning their values, profits, and cause, companies can tap into opportunities for growth that can be found by having a more philanthropic, sustainable, and socially responsible cause associated with their brand.

Conscious capitalism is not just a trend but a new way of doing business. It offers a framework for businesses and entrepreneurs that aligns with the values of millennials and addresses the world's largest problems. By bridging the gap between wealth and the social environment, conscious capitalism has the potential to create a more unified world by 2030 and beyond. The power is in the hands of consumers, and millennials are leading the way towards a better future for all.

Businesses that prioritize purpose, sustainability, and social impact are driving the Conscious Capitalism movement. They are actively seeking out brands and businesses that align with their values, making conscious choices in their purchasing decisions, and advocating for positive change. For entrepreneurs and brands, embracing Conscious Capitalism not only aligns with the values of this generation but also positions them to thrive in a changing business landscape driven by conscious consumers and societal expectations.

The future of business: Embracing purpose and sustainability in the great wealth transfer

Are you ready for a financial revolution? The great wealth transfer refers to the massive shift of wealth that is expected to occur as baby boomers pass on their assets to younger generations, primarily millennials and Gen Xers. Estimates suggest that this transfer of wealth could range anywhere from $30 trillion to $68 trillion. This transfer presents a unique opportunity for these younger generations to shape the future of investing and business practices.

As millennials and Gen Xers become the primary beneficiaries of this wealth transfer, we can expect to see significant changes in the way businesses operate and grow in the next decade. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Rise of impact investing: One notable change we will witness is the increasing prevalence of impact investing. Millennials and Gen Xers are more interested in investing their money in companies and funds that generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. This shift in investor preferences will prompt businesses to adapt and integrate sustainability, social responsibility, and purpose-driven practices into their core strategies.
  2. Purpose-driven business models: With the growing emphasis on impact investing, businesses will need to redefine their value proposition and embrace purpose-driven models. Instead of focusing solely on profit maximization, companies will be expected to articulate and deliver on their broader social and environmental goals, like the examples explored in the previous chapter’s case studies. This will involve re-evaluating business practices, supply chains, product offerings, and stakeholder engagement strategies to align with the values of conscious consumers.
  3. Transparency and accountability: As conscious consumerism and impact investing gain momentum, businesses will face increased scrutiny and demand for transparency and accountability. Consumers will expect companies to provide clear and measurable metrics on their social and environmental performance. This will drive businesses to adopt rigorous reporting frameworks, engage in third-party audits, and enhance their disclosure practices to build trust with stakeholders.
  4. Innovation and market opportunities: The focus on purpose and sustainability will create new market opportunities for businesses that can deliver innovative solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges. Companies that prioritize sustainability, circular economy practices, renewable energy, ethical sourcing, and social impact will be better positioned to attract customers, secure investments, and gain a competitive advantage in a changing business landscape.
  5. Employee expectations and talent acquisition: Younger generations place a strong emphasis on working for companies that align with their values and offer a sense of purpose. To attract and retain top talent, businesses will need to create inclusive and purposeful work environments that empower employees to contribute meaningfully to society. This may involve fostering a culture of corporate social responsibility, promoting employee well-being, and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  6. Long-term value creation: The focus on purpose-driven models and sustainable practices will shift the perspective of growth and success in business. Instead of short-term profit maximization, businesses will increasingly prioritize long-term value creation, considering the social and environmental impact of their operations. This shift in mindset will require a broader view of success that encompasses financial performance, social impact, and environmental stewardship.

The great wealth transfer will catalyze significant changes in businesses over the next decade. We will witness a rise in impact investing, an increased focus on purpose-driven business models, greater transparency and accountability, and the emergence of new market opportunities. Additionally, businesses will need to adapt to the expectations of conscious consumers, attract and retain talent through purposeful work environments, and prioritize long-term value creation. Embracing these changes and aligning business strategies with purpose and sustainability will be key to thriving in this evolving landscape and driving positive social and environmental change.

Step into the experience economy, Where memories are made, not just transactions.

I first discovered the power of experience when I was designing my family’s property development customer experience. I saw that the experience of buying "the Australian dream" had been lost with transactional client processes. I re-ignited this with the concept of being able to give people an emotional journey that captivated, activated, and enthrilled them on a journey of a lifetime. This is what the experience economy is all about. Recognizing that people don’t want to buy products anymore, what sets you apart will be the experience, memories, and moments you deliver in an unforgettable emotional journey with them!

The experience economy represents a fundamental shift in consumer behavior, where the focus has shifted from transactional exchanges to immersive and memorable experiences. To thrive in this new landscape, businesses need to understand the underlying principles driving this trend and develop practical strategies to deliver exceptional experiences. Here's an in-depth exploration of the experience economy and actionable insights to help your brand succeed:

Understanding the Experience Economy:

  1. Shifting consumer expectations: Customers now seek more than just products; they want to connect emotionally, engage their senses, and create lasting memories. The experience economy taps into the desire for personalization, authenticity, and meaning in every interaction.
  2. The millennial influence: Millennials are the driving force behind the experience economy. As the largest consumer demographic, their preferences and values shape market trends. They prioritize experiences that align with their beliefs, offer opportunities for self-expression, and contribute to their personal growth.
  3. Emotion and storytelling: Experiences evoke emotions and forge deeper connections with customers. Effective storytelling helps convey your brand's values, purpose, and identity, resonating with the aspirations and desires of your target audience.

Practical Strategies for Success

  1. Know your audience. Invest time and resources to understand your target market's needs, values, and aspirations. Conduct research, engage in social listening, and create buyer personas to gain insights into their preferences and behaviors.
  2. Design immersive experiences: Create multi-sensory experiences that engage customers on multiple levels. Consider all touchpoints, from physical spaces to online interactions, and infuse them with elements that evoke emotions and leave a lasting impression.
  3. Personalization and customization: Tailor experiences to individual customers by offering personalized recommendations, exclusive access, and opportunities for co-creation. Leverage data and technology to deliver relevant and meaningful interactions.
  4. Foster community and connection: Facilitate opportunities for customers to connect with like-minded individuals and build a sense of belonging. Encourage user-generated content, host events or workshops, and provide platforms for customers to share their experiences.
  5. Embed purpose and values: Align your brand with a higher purpose that resonates with your target audience. Showcase your commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and ethical practices. This authenticity will attract and retain customers who share your values.
  6. Continuous improvement: Regularly collect feedback, analyze data, and iterate your experiences based on customer insights. Embrace a culture of continuous learning and adaptability to stay ahead of evolving consumer expectations.
  7. Seamless omni-channel integration: Create a consistent and seamless experience across all channels and touchpoints. Connect online and offline interactions to provide a cohesive journey for customers, allowing them to transition effortlessly between platforms.
  8. Employee engagement: Recognize Recognize that your employees play a crucial role in delivering exceptional experiences. Invest in their training, empowerment, and well-being, as engaged and passionate employees are more likely to create memorable moments for your customers.
  9. Measure and evaluate: Establish metrics to measure the impact of your experiential initiatives. Monitor customer satisfaction, engagement, loyalty, and advocacy. Leverage data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior and make data-driven decisions.

By embracing the principles of the experience economy and implementing these practical strategies, your brand can cultivate meaningful connections, inspire customer loyalty, and drive business growth in this transformative era. Remember, in the experience economy, it's not just about selling products—it's about creating transformative moments that leave a lasting imprint on the hearts and minds of your customers.

This is an excerpt of the best-selling book by Samantha J. called "Illuminator; click here for the full copy:

About Samantha j.

Samantha J. is the sought after “Illuminator” - the world’s only luxury business strategist and medicine woman, that merges spirituality, strategy and self expression to help coaches and personal brands to scale to 7-8 figures and become fulfilled in all areas of their life along the way! Samantha is also a multi 8 figure award winning entrepreneur, 6 x best-selling author and soulful speaker.

Her unconventional approach, helps coaches stand out with a luxury brand, and social impact focus, to build an empire that merges purpose and profit, unifying the world by solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges such as poverty, climate change and eradicating sex trafficking. Samantha has been named as one of the Top 20 Entrepreneurs on the Rise by Fox in 2021, and one of the Top 7 Women Paving the Way of Success in 2022 by Disrupt Magazine, for her efforts, with a vision to help 100 million purposeful and profitable empires in her lifetime through her business school Humanitarian B-School and her luxury business agency, Illuminator.

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