Motivation of Christian consumer market segment drives purchasing decisions

AUTHOR:

Chris Stone


Faith moves mountains. It also moves products.

While most American consumers are primarily motivated by factors such as cost, personal preference and convenience, a newly identified and remarkably cohesive group of 41 million consumers – 17 percent of the U.S. adult population – is actively looking to commit to brands compatible with their beliefs, values and worldview.

Known as Faith Driven Consumers, their behavior in the consumer arena is—by nearly every measure—180 degrees opposite to the broader market of people who self-identify as Christian.  What motivates this subset of Christian consumers?  Should these differences impact your message or operation as a retailer?

What motivates Faith Driven Consumers?  
While most consumers are driven by quality, price and convenience, the one-out-of-seven Americans who are Faith Driven Consumers are even more highly motivated by the desire to honor God in all that they say and do.  It is in the context of a personal relationship with God that they seek to faithfully steward their God-gifted resources.

And it is their spiritual relationship with God that drives their daily life choices – including purchasing decisions.

According to recent and reliable research, a key distinction between Faith Driven Consumers and the wider market of self-identified Christians is how strongly their faith influences their daily decisions.

Those in the top quartile of Christians on three key measures – personal relationship with God, faith in daily life choices and faith in daily consumer decisions – are clearly differentiated from other Christians as Faith Driven Consumers.

The bottom line is that while most consumers – including non-FDC Christians – are motivated by individual benefit in their spending decisions, the key driver and highest priority for Faith Driven Consumers is the alignment of their behavior in every aspect of life with God’s will and a biblically based worldview.

This means that despite cost, personal preference and convenience, they will purchase with a higher purpose in mind.

Beyond purpose, Faith Driven Consumers also “feel highly responsible” to change their daily habits to more closely align with their faith.  Here, 40 percent of faith-driven Christian consumers indicate that they take a high level of personal responsibility in how they steward their spending patterns in alignment with their faith convictions.

This compares to only 11 percent of non-faith-driven Christians consumers.

These results are statistically significant and indicate that retailers seeking to pursue this $2 trillion annual subset of the Christian market take appropriate steps to frame their brand messaging in a way that most effectively reaches this vast and currently untapped market.

Faith moves mountains.  And purpose-driven faith also moves products.



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