What is ‘considered consumption’, and how can retailers capitalise on it?

‘Considered consumption’ describes the growing trend for customers to take into account more than just the traditional benefits of a brand which are derived from its functional attributes. In today’s consumer society, shoppers are increasingly looking for ‘higher order’ brand values.

In research by integrated creative agency 23red, 91% of shoppers stated that ‘how good a company is’ is influential when considering purchasing a product or service. Meanwhile, 90% were influenced by ‘how it behaves towards its customers and communities’. 23red chairman and chief executive Jane Asscher says retailers have two broad opportunities to capitalise on this important societal trend. Firstly, with regard to their own brand, they need to review their ‘good behaviour’.

Marks & Spencer’s Plan A is a good example and makes it unlikely M&S will ever be accused of lacking corporate social responsibility. Secondly, in terms of the brands that are stocked, retailers can both appeal to their ‘considered consumption’ customers and polish their own halo by favouring those brands with ‘good’ credentials. For instance, B&Q has taken a market-leading stance in only stocking products made from 100% ‘Forest Friendly’ timber.

“Displaying additional ‘badge values’ will make customers feel good about their purchase and therefore achieve competitive advantage for the retailer,” says Asscher.