The conscientious consumer has become a kind of obsession for companies. It is the parsley of all sauces: the analyzes try to understand what it is that you want and why to offer it and have established the idea that the buyer only responds to brands with clear principles and established values.
And while the boom in brand activism is unquestionable (statistical data and success and failure stories prove it), values are not a bomb-proof question. In certain contexts, they don’t work. In fact, you just have to think about low-cost fashion and how its sales have not suffered, no matter how much the activist consumer has become more and more popular and prominent.
Despite the fact that there are more and more critical voices and that they have become the protagonists of all kinds of reports about how these clothes are made (and the impact it has on the environment and the lives of the people who make them), these companies they continue to have record turnover figures.
Faced with being able to buy the latest fashion trend at a low price and not, consumers seem to be very clear about what they prefer. This is, in fact, what a study using consumer data from five countries has shown, using statistics. As they conclude in Marketing Week based on data from an Emarsys study, when faced with an attractive offer, ethical values have little to do and consumers end up buying.
Young people buy and don’t tell
Even 27% of consumers acknowledge that in general they do not take their ethical concerns into account when making their purchases. 15% affirm that they are loyal to retailers who embarrass them: that is, as brands and companies they believe they are ‘the worst’, but they continue to buy from them.
Among younger consumers, the figure is higher. 34% of younger consumers buy products from brands with which they do not agree. So what about activism and awareness? For younger consumers, they are more likely to buy from one of these brands, but they are also more likely to hide that they are doing so.
The brand thus becomes a kind of guilty pleasure. 32% admit that they do not talk about the brands they consume for this reason. And, in the end, what wins when it comes to capturing the consumer is not so much the values as the prices and the supply. 56% of buyers indicate that they are loyal to a company that offers a wide range of products and 43% to the one that has lower prices.
Only 16% say they are faithful to the most ethical brand. Therefore, companies must be very aware not only of what consumers say they want but also what they are actually doing and spin very fine depending on how they want to reach the market. Transparency and ethics should be taken for granted, but what is really pushing your buyers may be your good prices.