We Are All Conscious Consumers

May 03, 2016 | Dirk van der Beek

The Conscious Consumer Lives in All of Us

Four ways brands can unlock the conscious consumer in anybody

One of the fastest growing business communities is the movement of B-Corporations, unifying companies and brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and Natura. At Innate Motion we are proud to be a member too. Our journey leads to a world in which people use business as a force for positive change. At our recent European gathering, the central theme was “the conscious consumer”. The implicit notion being that this is a particular segment of consumers.

At Innate Motion we challenge this assumption. We believe the conscious consumer lives in all of us. It’s up to brand stewards and entrepreneurs to unlock the intrinsic willingness of people to contribute.  To help companies, we identified four different ways to encourage anybody to dare to care.

1. The conscious consumer that wants to be recognized and feel special

Sometimes we as human beings are driven by wanting to feel unique, seeking recognition for who we are and the smart and competent choices we can make. In this case, the conscious consumer in us seeks to obtain recognition, not from a brand, but from the people that matter to them. For example, Greenpeace provided a certificate when people purchased a part of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior, thereby tapping into the buyer’s desire for identity.

2. The conscious consumer that wants to be empowered and have immediate impact

in/PACT is a great example of empowering customers to make their community a little better every time they buy a product. Even more so, the customer feels appreciated and in power as they are the person choosing where or how they want to impact. Those who want to control their generosity and see direct impact will be attracted by this way of unlocking the conscious consumer.

3. The conscious consumer that wants to participate and collaborate

Some people truly want to be one with many others. By focusing more on the collective power of consumers to spark positive change, brands and companies can bring these people together. Coca-Cola, the largest soft drink company of our time, used the RockCorps concept in South Africa, getting together some 4,000 volunteers to help in one of the many townships. In return, the volunteers were rewarded with a huge rock concert in Johannesburg. It is with shared experience and purposeful goals that Coca-Cola inspired these people to participate in their initiative.

4. The conscious consumer that wants to be given trust and take responsibility

The last of our four ways looks to reinforce trustful behaviors of customers and employees. If a group of employees is asked, for example, to volunteer for a project of their own choice, they will be more motivated to work for a collective cause. This is exactly what Marks & Spencer, together with Neighbourly, did with their Spark Something Good campaign. Empowering people to care for those who, in their eyes, deserve it most creates custodians for the community good.

Doing good and having a positive impact is not just possible for small segments of people. Anybody can be attracted to invest in purposeful initiatives. It is the way in which brands address people that determine whether or not they take the step to contribute.

Are you ready to engage the people you serve, enabling them to make a change?


Posted By Dirk van der Beek

Being born and raised on a farm on the Dutch island of Texel has coded Dirk’s path. At the age of 7, his dream was to be a farmer. Educated at the Wageningen University of Agriculture, Dirk forwent a farming career and began one in marketing instead. At Campina, Nestlé and Friesland Foods, he embraced psycho-dynamic thinking in guiding his brands. He continued his career in the marketing services industry at Censydiam and Lowe Advertising. Founding Innate Motion and becoming a business humanizer signifies a fundamental shift in his life journey. Building our no bricks, no borders, no bosses company is an exciting challenge. Serving leaders to transform their businesses and brands by putting people first offered opportunities to travel across continents and cultures. Growing capabilities in engineering behaviour change, building brands as idea centric movements, contributive design and company change journeys. At home the nest is empty. While Floris, Maurits and Lisanne are pursuing their own journey Dirk enjoys this new life stage with his wife and fellow entrepreneur Petra.

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