By Linda Fisher Thornton
Customers are not separate from businesses any more – they are becoming part of the fabric of organizations in ways that meet their very specific needs. This week I describe 5 powerful trends in ethical consumerism that are changing the rules of business. To keep up with these trends, leaders will need a heightened level of ethical awareness and the ability to think ethically on many levels.
1. Customers want companies to build ethics into their brands.
“In the pursuit of the nirvana that is GUILT-FREE CONSUMPTION, consumers are looking for brands to make SACRIFICES (so they don’t have to).”
2. Customers are increasingly involved in brand marketing and promotion.
“Your consumer is your marketer.”
PBS Frontline, Generation Like
3. Customers expect companies to care not just about their well-being, but also about society and the planet.
“Growing numbers of consumers can no longer escape an awareness of the damage done by their consumption: to the planet, society, or themselves.”
4. Customers don’t want to be “talked at.” They want a deeper connection. Empathy is what customers crave.
“In 2014 we’ll hear more executives talk about the need to build empathy for customers…”
Bruce Temkin, Temkin Group, 14 Customer Experience Trends For Marketing 2014 at dmnnews.com
5. Customers are increasingly focused on health and well-being and seek companies and products that care.
“Many are aware that healthy eating can improve quality of life and extend longevity. Also, many are discovering food sensitivities and are looking to purchase “free from” products.”
These are powerful consumer trends that will drive business success in 2015 and beyond. This is the terrain of business leadership future, and it requires heightened ethical awareness and proactive ethical leadership. Get ready for business conversations that integrate ethics into all aspects of product development, customer service, marketing and leadership.
•Business is changing. Let us know how Leading in Context can help you prepare. Info@LeadinginContext.com
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