You would think that we were in the month of December by walking into a department store. Expectations for the holidays are high, as we get ready to test the consumer behavior of fourth quarter. Personally, as someone who loves to give Christmas presents, I have been reexamining my own behavior, looking for ideas that are meaningful, rather than those that solely reinforce material possession. Apparently, I’m not alone.
BBMG’s 2009 Conscious Consumer Report explored consumer attitudes, behaviors, preferences and priorities during a moment of great social and economic transformation. Based on the national poll and in-depth ethnographic interviews, the study showed that Americans are re-evaluating what truly matters in their lives and seeking brands that deliver both value and values. It concludes, that, “in this age of radical transparency, nonprofit organizations must show how they live their values in every action and interaction.”
As the holidays approach, what opportunities do you offer that a values-driven consumer may perceive as a potential gift? Think through your programs, volunteerism, and communications. What types of gifts can be made available to the typical consumer? Take for example an experience – such as town hall tickets to a panel discussion on an issue they care about or a presentation by a favorite author. How are you marketing such opportunities for the holidays?
The nonprofit sector is a values-facilitator. We can help families think creatively about each other and about what is meaningful in their lives. Whether it is gender equity, animal rights, or non-violence, there is an organization living those values. I hope, by reevaluating the concept of a Christmas present, we can return to a holiday motivated by meaning, rather than one focused on fourth-quarter earnings.
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