Marketing to the Conscious Consumer

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Terry Young
Terry Young



conscious-media“Life of Pi,” the Oscar-winning film that grossed over half a billion dollars at the box office, is just the latest in a string of box-office hits that have helped move conscious media from the fringes of culture to the mass middle.

Once the domain of yogis, philosophers and nutritionists, today conscious media sits squarely in the mainstream, with prime examples in blockbuster movies like “Prometheus,” video games like “Journey” and bestselling books such as Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.”

These conscious media titles draw on both Western and Eastern modes of thinking. They integrate spiritual, experiential and contemplative ideas with modern science. They push the limits of traditional thought and ask deeper questions about the human condition and how individuals can align their spiritual, emotional and physical beings.

This type of content has struck a nerve, and today, the audience for conscious media reaches more than 100 million in the U.S. alone. In the face of the 24-hour news cycle, tabloid sensationalism and reality fare like Honey Boo Boo, Americans are increasingly hungering for content that inspires, creates an awakening or answers deeper concerns.

We detailed the social and cultural factors that are driving this demand for conscious media in our white paper, The Explosion of Conscious Media, created in partnership with GaiamTV.


Companies cannot afford to ignore the conscious consumer. Here are some key takeaways for marketers who are exploring conscious business practices and want to pursue conscious marketing as a means to reach the conscious consumer.

Eight Principles of Conscious Marketing

  1. Be bigger than the bottom line: Conscious marketing begins with a business moving from a sole focus on corporate profits to a belief that an organization can achieve something larger than making money.
  2. Market with purpose: Establish a higher purpose for the brand beyond the tangible benefit or product offering.
  3. Embrace oneness: Conscious consumers recognize that all things are connected. Understand the impact your brand has on its stakeholders, including its employees, customers, community and the world at large.
  4. Be authentic: The rise of social media has forced the need for authenticity upon all companies, but this is especially essential in conscious marketing. All communications with customers, partners and employees should be 100 percent honest and transparent.
  5. Give back: Conscious marketing materials don’t just sell — they improve or enhance the lives of their stakeholders. Share inspiration and insights that add value.
  6. Be relevant: Stay in tune with the day-to-day conversations your customers and other stakeholders are having and the culture they are living in. See where they are, and adjust your communications appropriately.
  7. Be mindful: Be aware of every touch point stakeholders have with your brand. From your Web hosting facility to your ad agency to your customer service department, all aspects of your brand should align with your values.
  8. Be a conscious leader: Conscious marketing requires conscious leadership. Leaders do what is right and care about the connected ecosystems that we live in. Conscious leaders make a difference in the world.

Follow or join in the conversation on conscious capitalism on Twitter @ConsciousCap or #CC2013.

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