The Mindful, Engaged Consumer
People who practice mindfulness interact with the world a bit differently.
They are in-touch with their bodies, aware of mental narratives and cognizant of emotions; they interact with full attention and reflect rather than simply react; they tune into their senses (including the sixth sense – their gut) and pay attention to what they are experiencing in real-time.
In short, mindful people are highly engaged.
They consume products in a particular way that companies need to understand and embrace.
Rather than being distracted, on autodrive or “lost in thought” mindful people are curious about what they consume and attentive while doing so.
Being mindful makes a difference in how people experience brands and products.
WARNING! Customers who consume mindfully may actually:
- Read your product labels.
- Ask questions via social media to better understand your products.
- Note the design and environmental aspects of your packaging.
- Truly taste your product.
- Notice how they feel after experiencing your product.
- Question claims made in your advertising.
- Engage in minimal negative self-talk and not appreciate ads that are not empowering.
- Allow themselves the pleasure of enjoying your product, even if it used to be on the “naughty” list.
- Consume less (or more) of it to better suit their evolving, conscious taste preferences.
- Review (and care about) what your company is doing for social responsibility.
- Save an empty container to remember to purchase it again, before recycling it.
The Mindful Chocolate Raisin Research Hack
I executed a research hack as part of writing Mind to Mouth to begin investigating how mindfulness prompts on food packages and while eating impacts the consumer experience.
The results showed:
- 100% of participants experienced their chocolate raisin differently when eating mindfully. They experienced more flavor, different nuance and more satisfaction.
- 64% of participants are open to mindful eating cues from food companies.
Building a Culture of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is here to stay.
More people meditate than watch the World Series. (18 million, 8% of U.S. adults, 2012 data)
The practice of mindfulness is embraced by corporate training programs, health care practitioners, sports teams and the military, in addition to individual Millennials, Gen-Xer and Boomers, for its cognitive and emotional benefits. The mindfulness industry is estimated to be $4 billion.
In May 2017, mindfulness curriculum started being rolled out to schools across America by a company that provides materials to teachers in about 90% of U.S. elementary and middle schools. The next generation will be even more mindful than the rest of us.
However, mindfulness is never done.
People need all the support they can get. Companies can help.
Companies have an opportunity, and even a responsibility, to be a partner and resource in supporting customers’ mindful consumption of their products.
Food, health and wellness brands have been talking up the importance of nutritious eating and physical fitness for years. Now research is proving the power of mindfulness to keep us healthy. With more doctors recommending meditation for various ailments, and research showing that “eating focused mindfulness-based intervention can result in significant changes in weight and eating behavior in obese individuals,” practicing daily mindfulness may one day be as standard as going to the gym for a workout.
Corporate endorsement of mindful consumption followed by a measurable action plan to help customer’s journey to healthy living through mindfulness can create an even more engaged relationship with a brand.
It can also impact the bigger picture.
Mindfulness: The Nourishing Macro Trend
As mindful consumption continues to mainstream it will feed and sustain other movements.
#RealFood Revolution: Mindfulness will propel consumer demand for healthy, real food and support food innovation.
#FightAgainstObesity: Mindfulness will reduce weight and change eating behavior in obese individuals.
Strategic Mindfulness Engagement
Actions can take many forms, depending on business objectives, brand strategy and customer relationship with your business.
The first step is committing to a deeper understanding of where and how customers can best be supported in their mindful consumption journey.
Executed with innovation and creativity, humor and relevance, supporting consumer mindfulness has the potential to enhance quality of life, support sales, and contribute to social responsibility commitments.
Let’s get the conversation started. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Its time to start applying resources to support consumers in the life skill of mindful consumption.”Heather Sears