Aspirational Consumers Are Taking Over

As a 22 year old who works part-time as a social media consultant, I am in many ways the quintessential millennial. While I accept that label, I also know that there are negative stereotypes: millennials are lazy and feel entitled. It wasn’t until I sat down with founding B Corp, BBMG that I discovered a new millennial label that I fully embrace.

I am an Aspirational and I think you might be too.

First, let’s look at the type of consumers that are out there.

Making up 9% of global consumers, Indifferents don’t consider sustainability or social issues when shopping.

Advocates (22%) are willing to pay more for social and environmental solutions. These consumers research companies and will hold them accountable for any inconsistencies or bad business practices they find.

Practicals (29%) are individuals who purchase based on price and reliability. Sustainability is an added bonus, as long as it doesn’t raise the price. 

This leaves the Aspirationals.

“These are people who like to shop, they care about influencing their friends, and they identify with brands, like a badge for who they,” BBMG business development manager, Liz Courtney said. “They care about social and environmental issues and they want their purchases to reflect their values, without having to compromise.”

After interviewing BBMG and analyzing their study conducted with GlobeScan in October 2015, Five Human Aspirations & The Future of Brands, here is everything you need to know about the most influential consumers of our time.

Values, community, and a positive impact define the Aspirational generation, not age, race, or gender. With 40% of the global population falling into the Aspirational generation, businesses now have the opportunity to expand their branding and operations to include social and environmental concerns because their consumers demand it.

If an Aspirational buys a pair of Tom’s Shoes, they are likely to share the company’s mission with their social circles. These consumers want to influence their peers based on common interests, passions, and values.

“If you make it easy for Aspirationals to do the right thing, a wonderful halo effect takes place where people that are usually just making practical purchases now want to participate in better business practices,” Liz said. “If you can make the right thing, the cool thing, everyone wins.”

Aspirationals have certain expectations from the companies they choose to support. No longer are consumers satisfied with buying green products from brown companies. Aspirationals care about health, the environment, supply chain responsibility, and treatment of employees.

They assess companies based on criteria similar to the way B Lab assesses company for B Corp certifications.

A quick refresher: Benefit Corporations (B Corps) are for-profit companies that have been certified by the nonprofit B Lab after meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

If 40% of global consumers’ wants align almost directly with B Corps, what does that mean for the B Corp movement?

It could mean that this is the moment for the B Corp movement to go mainstream.

Aspirationals want to support companies like B Corps. They also want to market for them! Aspirationals share their purchases with their friends, encourage others to do the same, and will likely become brand ambassadors.

Aspirationals are the first to unite materialism, socially responsible values and cultural influence, making them a force to be reckoned with. 

B CorpBernadette HopenBBMG