I was pretty blasé about what toothpaste to use until a visit to a zoo. Yep.
It transpired during a emotional talk given by a wildlife activist at the orang utan enclosure that a brand I regularly used contained non-sustainable palm oil whose harvesting was wiping out orang utan habitats in Indonesia, along with those of elephants and tigers in other countries.
It wouldn’t even have occurred to me there’d be palm oil in toothpaste and then I discovered it’s rife in a whole range of unrelated consumer goods, from some lipsticks, to pizza dough, biscuits, shampoo, ice cream, detergents, margarine, soap and packaged bread.
Since then I have made a concerted effort to avoid brands where I can find evidence of products containing palm oil from non-sustainable sources (ie. wild habitats).
And so it seems I am one of an emerging breed of consumers who are changing the retail and service landscape – CorpSumers.
They have been identified in a report by consumer lifestyle marketing specialists MWW PR, one of the world’s leading independent full-service PR agencies with offices across the US and the UK and a global network of partners.
MWW describes CorpSumers as “brand activists” and a powerful segment of the population who think a company’s values, actions and corporate reputation are just as important as the products it makes.
The firm recently conducted proprietary research to understand who the CorpSumer is and among other findings discovered that health and wellness (48% of those surveyed), financial services (42%) and automotive (48%) ranked as the highest among industries where reputation mattered most.
“This segment called the CorpSumers isn’t a trend and they aren’t going away,” the report says. “They are the new reality of business.
“Their attitudes and beliefs about company reputation are so strong that they drive behaviour.
“These people are willing to pay a premium for brands that share their values and look to your actions to determine not only the products they buy but the companies they invest in, do business with and work for.”
Part advocate and part objector, their influence is profound. They love deeply and hate with vitality, going beyond brand loyalty to amplify and evangelise your message.
“They’ll stick with you despite any missteps along the way, but you’d better be listening and acting – because it’s imperative to your business.”
The report further found that CorpSumers make up a third of the population, span age and gender and are more likely to be Millennials and Get Xs, full time workers, well educated, high income earners and parents, and all are culturally current.
According to the research: “The bottom line is – give CorpSumers a reason to believe and they will give you their business and their loyalty.
“CS are loyal, resulting in a high lifetime value:
- 67% would pay full price for a company they believe in
- 63% have switched from a product they love to a new product because they believe in the company
- 51% stick with a product that has disappointed them because they believe in the company
- 64% will only work for a company whose values reflect their own
- 89% share positive news about companies
- 78% shares negative news about companies
- 76% have influence others to try a product they believe in
- 74% have convinced a friend to switch from a product from a company they don’t believe in
- Loyal customers are worth 10 times their initial purchase
- 80-90% of your new customer referrals come from your most loyal customers
- Advocacy drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending
- Advocates are five times more valuable than average customers because they spend more on products and purchase more often
- 12% increase in advocacy companies can experience twice the growth in revenue
“This growing segment is a critical business imperative to target because CorpSumers’ beliefs about company reputation are so strong that they drive behavior. They look to reputation to determine not only the products they buy but also the companies they invest in, do business with and work for.
“This growing and important group is relevant to verey brand [and service].”