Faith Driven Consumers Represent a Unique Marketplace Perspective


Jul 15, 2015 4:23 PM

Survey Data Show That Faith Driven Consumers Put Their Finances Where Their Faith Is

A key goal for any brand is analyzing customer behavior—what motivates consumers in their purchasing decisions. Equally important, what steers them away from a purchase.

Thankfully, brands have a solid well of new survey data from American Insights to draw conclusions from regarding Faith Driven Consumers, a growing but largely untapped niche market that represents 17% of the U.S. adult population—more than 41 million people—who spend $2 trillion annually. As we first unveiled last week, this 85-question national survey gives brands a valuable snapshot of those who identify as “faith driven” in their purchasing decisions.

A key motivating force in the lives of Faith Driven Consumers is the idea of whole-life stewardship. As Christians, they believe that God is not only entitled to 10 percent of their income—the biblical one-tenth, or tithe—but that God also cares about how well they steward the other 90 percent. This includes discretionary spending on consumer brands. In a nutshell: every choice matters.

Consider these relevant findings from the survey:

  • Personal faith and purchasing decisions: An astounding 94% of Faith Driven Consumers say their faith has a major influence (8-10 on a 10-point scale) on their day-to-day consumer choices, such as where they shop and what they buy. That’s compared to 40% of Christians overall. Nearly half of Faith Driven Consumers—49 percent—rate their faith’s influence on buying decisions as a 10-out-of-10, compared to 13% of Christians overall.
  • Faithful life: 79% of Faith Driven Consumers believe their buying decisions are an important way of living out their faith in daily life, compared to 41% of Christians overall.
  • Position in the marketplace: 73% of Faith Driven Consumers report that they have different consumer needs than the market at large. Only 47% of Christians overall feel the same. 21% of Faith Driven Consumers feel their needs are “totally different” than the overall market, compared to just 7% of Christians.
  • Not welcome: 89% of Faith Driven Consumers would like to see the consumer marketplace do more to acknowledge, welcome and provide for them as Christians. 59% would like to see the marketplace do a lot more. 57% of Faith Driven Consumers feel that the current consumer marketplace doesn't adequately acknowledge, welcome and provide for them as Christians.


Other research has corroborated these conclusions. A Barna Group survey of U.S. adults from 2011 found that 43% of consumers would be more likely to buy a particular brand if the company was managed by Christian principles. 97% would be either more likely or indifferent. Only 3% indicated that they would be less likely to purchase the brand because of its friendliness to the Christian worldview.

Clearly, even in the broader population, affinity for Christian values is a plus for brands. And this is particularly true when attracting Faith Driven Consumers. Infusing their faith into buying decisions is a motivating factor for this cohort. Through whole-life stewardship that matches their wallets to their worldview, they seek to glorify God in all they say and do—including in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas.

Is your brand well-positioned to engage with the economically powerful Faith Driven Consumer segment?