Thought Leadership

The conscious consumer shall inherit the Earth: Is your brand ready?

Have you met the ‘Conscious Consumer’? They’re demanding that brands show us they care about the planet and demonstrate it single-mindedly.

Niki Macartney, Southpaw

Strategy Director


To answer our question, “In the future, how will brands stand out with an eco-agenda and what impact might that have on our buying behaviour?” we investigated evolving consumer attitudes to reveal three conclusive areas brands can focus their energies on.

The rise of plant-based diets and our collective horror at the plastics problem are now permanent fixtures in the mainstream cultural conversation. According to Global Web Index, over half of US and UK digital users say environmental concerns impact their purchasing behaviour. With that comes publicity and pressure. Some sectors have already been hit with a truckload of scrutiny, in particular the CPG (consumer packaged goods) category. And with cumbersome governments slow to legislate, consumers are putting pressure on corporations to deliver sustainability, or they’ll simply stop buying from them.

But do we care enough to pay over the odds for being kind to the planet? Maybe you can identify with the 55% of Conscious Consumers who are concerned about the environment but taking minimal action? You’re not alone, but to further complicate this inertia comes a growing unwillingness to pay a premium for green(er) products. Is it possible to be mean and green? To meet the challenge, brands must put sustainability within the grasp of even the laziest armchair eco-warrior on a budget. 

And by 2030? Your microenvironment is going to be your top priority. According to Foresight Factory, a whopping 77% of us are already expressing concern about the quality of the air we breathe. Managing the health impact of air pollution is a growing problem, which presents brands with an opportunity to solve it for us. Companies that innovate then shout their story to the health-conscious masses are the ones who will win.

The Conscious Consumer is demanding the future they want now. And for brands, the best in the business always keep one eye on the horizon. 


Visit Southpaw's showcase to download the full report.

Guest Author

Niki Macartney, Southpaw

Strategy Director,


Niki is a Creative Strategist with 25 years’ experience in strategy development, comms planning, brand management and market research, across national and global business. Working with global clients across a wide range of categories, such as Diageo, Honda, Molsen Coors, Eurotunnel, ghd, Octopus and PZ Cussons.

Related Tags