5 Rules for the LOHAS Market
The acronym LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) may not roll off the tongue, but it sure represents plenty of American influence. Conservatively estimated by the LOHAS Web site, the LOHAS market involves 41 million people, or 19 percent of U.S. adults, and $209 billion for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living. (Other estimates increase the percentage to a full third of Americans with $500 billion to spend in 2008.)
Also referred to as “Cultural Creatives”—a term coined by Yale sociologist and author Dr. Paul Ray in the book “The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World” (co-authored by Sherry Anderson)—LOHAS consumers are unmistakably creating a new culture, one in which their values are often directly reflected in their purchasing. Hence, the terms “green,” LOHAS and “conscious consumers” equally refer to the Cultural Creative.
While their presence is already significant enough to get any marketer’s attention, the numbers of Americans living the LOHAS way will only increase. “Ray insists, and I fully agree, that this percentage can only increase as the folly of unrestrained consumerism and ostentatious display becomes ever more apparent in a resource-constrained world battered by global warming,” predicts Mal Warwick, founder and chairman of Mal Warwick Associates, a Berkeley, Calif.- and Washington, D.C.–based fundraising agency specializing in direct marketing.
“In short, I think you’ll find that this group is deeply committed to environmental preservation, understands the linkages between environmental damage and perils to human health, and is highly resistant to traditional marketing and advertising appeals,” explains Warwick.
With that in mind, don’t forget these five rules for the LOHAS market.
1. Get Better Response by Being Responsible
Showcasing how LOHAS values extend far beyond LOHAS’ community, look at this statistic from full-service, global PR firm Edelman: 85 percent of consumers worldwide will change the brands they buy or their consumption habits to “make tomorrow a better place.” In other words, the “responsible” message practically works across all segments today.