Faith Driven Consumers prefer honey over vinegar
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
And while the expression is applicable to many situations, at its core the phrase means that it’s better to persuade people using a polite and positive approach than a confrontational one.
Though some Christians today have the not-entirely-undeserved reputation of being more like vinegar than honey in their engagement with issues in the public square, there’s a rapidly emerging segment of the broader Christian consumer market that prefers honey over vinegar and is willing to “buycott” retailers that they find to be faith-compatible – as an alternative to boycotting those in conflict with their biblical worldview.
Known as Faith Driven Consumers, this niche group – 41 million in number, and representing 17 percent of the U.S. adult population – spends $2 trillion annually and seeks to winsomely engage with corporate America in a mutually loyal, viable and long-term marketing relationship.
Although a boycott can be a punitive form of consumer activism involving voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, company or, organization—usually as an expression of protest—alternatively, “buycotts” are reward-based, active campaigns to buy products or services of a particular company or organization.
When it comes to the newly identified and qualified Faith Driven Consumer market segment, recent and reliable research shows that 75 percent of Faith Driven Consumers see that supporting faith-compatible brands is the most important thing they can do as a consumer.
While open to boycotting retailers hostile to their values and faith in certain circumstances, Faith Driven Consumers desire to actively spend their money in support of those brands that respect their deeply held convictions.
Conversely, the data show that 70 percent of Faith Driven Consumers say avoiding faith-incompatible retailers is important to them.
Despite the fact that this avoidance can involve a targeted boycott of faith-incompatible brands, Faith Driven Consumers prefer proactive and loyal support of companies that operate in similar alignment with a biblically informed set of values.
While the Faith Driven Consumer segment behaves differently than the broader group of self-identified Christians, it is also distinct from the culture at large where boycotts, marches and protests have become commonplace in recent years on both sides of the political spectrum.
Is your brand prepared to positively engage and integrate with this increasingly cohesive and enfranchised niche market that represents one out of every seven Americans and has more annual spending power than other routinely targeted segments like Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans, Muslims and GLBT persons?
As honey is better than vinegar, wouldn’t you as a retailer prefer to be on the receiving end of a long-term and ongoing move by Faith Driven Consumers to “buycott” your brand in contrast with recent trends toward boycotts by market segments that claim to be disenfranchised?