Christian consumer submarket is willing to abandon old brand preferences and create new ones

AUTHOR:

Chris Stone


What causes this market segment to abandon brand preferences?

Is yours one of the brands that 41 million consumers are going to switch to? If not, yours may be a brand they are going to abandon. Who are these people? What drives them? Why do retailers want to connect with this segment?  How do you reach them or keep them?

Who are these people?

This market segment of 41 million consumers with $2 trillion of purchasing power is a rapidly emerging group identified as Faith Driven Consumers.  If you don’t learn who they are and what they need, you might lose them.  Why?  Because all Christian consumers are not alike.

Research illustrates dramatic differences exist in basic attitudes and values within subsets of the Christian consumer market. Though they are a demographically diverse group, Faith Driven Consumers are remarkably unified in their beliefs and commitment to their faith.

Unlike most consumers, including most Christian consumers outside the sub-market, the deeply held faith of Faith Driven Consumers consistently shapes their daily decisions, including those they make in the marketplace.

What drives them? Their Worldview!

These customers are driven by their worldview, “a specific habitual way of thinking that drives day to day behaviors and which dramatically influences the way a person perceives marketing and communications.” -John Marshall Roberts, Igniting Inspiration: A Persuasion Manual for Visionaries (2008)

For the Faith Driven Consumer, their worldview anchors all of their decisions, including their consumer spending choices. Unlike the broader group of self-identified Christians, members of this group do not compartmentalize their faith. Instead, it drives which brands they are loyal to and which ones they will abandon.

Why do retailers want to pursue this segment?

Faith Driven Consumers have been largely ignored by most retailers, however they are eager to respond if you are a suitable and compatible partner.

Research shows that 81 percent of this 46 million market segment will switch brands if they discover that a retailer is incompatible with their values.

Depending on a retailer’s outreach and compatibility, 33.21 million of 41 million consumers and 1.62 trillion out of 2 trillion dollars is at risk of loss or gain. They will not stop buying but simply shift their brand preference to a retailer more compatible with their needs and values.  The question is which retailer will gain share and which will lose it?

How do you reach them and keep them?

To win over Faith Driven Consumers, retailers must acknowledge and validate their beliefs. They don’t have to openly advocate for their views, or forsake other customer segments, but retailers do need to operate in a manner compatible with them.  This is no different than what retailers are currently doing for other differentiated market segments.

As a retailer, your operations, marketing, messaging, as well as the organizations and activities you support will be a measure by which the Faith Driven Consumer will decide if you are a suitable partner worthy of their loyalty and preference.

In this fast-paced age, price, feature comparison and ratings are readily available. Empowered consumers have the ability to switch brands instantly with few if any barriers.

How do retailers differentiate?  Does your brand resonate with Faith Driven Consumers more than that of your competitor?  Are you ready and willing to connect?  Don’t know the answer or don’t know how to connect?  Then find out before you miss out.

If you are capable and willing, Faith Driven Consumers provide a rapidly emerging niche for you to gain loyalty, profit and market share.



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