5. Healthy consumer.
Health is now the number two concern among consumers with the economy still maintaining its top position. Moms now demand a food revolution where the safety of their loved ones is a precondition for what they buy and who they buy from. The Millennial Generation, led by a cohort group called urban sophisticates, have an intense focus on buying sustainably sourced foods.
They were the ones who began buying from Chipotle and have deserted McDonalds. Another mega-change is that 47% of consumers now snack as a meal replacement. We now buy more food at bars and restaurants than at grocery stores.
Your Bottom Line
Marketing is in a customer-driven revolution. The smart phone has displaced the TV as the most viewed screen. Consumers are displacing their viewership of TV advertising with streaming video and social media engagement. Mass advertising is being Balkanized into targeted messaging reflective of America’s growing diversity in culture and family definitions.
The Millennial Generation is not the Baby Boomer Generation but younger. They have different buying parameters. They ground their evaluation of a company and its product based on what other consumers post online. The health conscious consumer is ignoring marketing messages in search of transparent answers to their food safety questions.
There are now two divergent paths for winning customers. One is price promotion. This is the marketing path of continuous discount coupons and mailers. It is the path to lower margins and price wars with competitors that damage brand value. Even Walmart, the 20th Century’s price discount leader, is struggling with a strategy where competitors like the Dollar Store and Amazon can steal market share through aggressive price discounting.
The other sales path is built on offering more sustainable products. 85% of consumers say they will buy the more sustainable good or service versus the less sustainable good or service if the price is just equal. SolarCity and Tesla are two high profile examples. But Unilever, a traditional consumer product company, is proving that sustainability sells. 50% of their sales are now sourced from their Sustainable Living product line.
A common thread among the demographic megatrends is the consumer search for products that align value with their values. Sustainable best practices are proven to deliver the authenticity that consumers seek. They are proven to lower cost and therefore increase price competitiveness and profit margins.
These best practices align with the 21st Century’s key demographic groups including healthy consumers, the Hispanic community with its affinity for the environment and the Millennial Generation that leads the nation in believing global warming is manmade. Sustainability is the proven path for winning customers across demographic silos. It is the path to business success in a 21st Century increasingly defined by its demographic diversity and megatrends.