THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM AND CAPITALISING ON CONSCIOUSNESS - WHY OLD SCHOOL BUSINESSES ARE FALLING BEHIND.
Emma wears WE-AR. Image credit Good Magazine, photographer Jessie Casson
Emma Mildon is the girl-next-door millennial mystic charged with creating a movement of conscious action in the world. Crowned by the Huffington Post as "a true millennial mystic leader", she is a spiritual activist and the international bestselling author of her book The Soul Searcher’s Handbook now available in six languages. Emma’s passion and enthusiasm is infectious. Through her work as a philanthropist, columnist, speaker and the hostess of powerful new moon gatherings each month, Emma educates, inspires and holds space for people who are committed to taking balanced, conscious action toward global healing.
A conscious business is one that holds a higher purpose based on ethics, improving the lives of its consumer, and contributing towards society. The truth is, businesses today need to care about how they make money.
I would argue that companies that generally promote a product or service with no substance, be it nutritional, emotional, or intellectual, is an unconscious business. A zombie corporate some may say. In fact, as a millennial who has grown up with 'Corporate Social Responsibility' seen as a norm, I believe basic CSR doesn’t cut it anymore. It is like donating to a charity instead of showing up to pitch in or donate your time. One is easier, sure. One asks you to stand for something - to take a stand. A tax right-off simply doesn’t cut it anymore. We want to know the values of a business.
“We want to know if your corporation has a soul.”
The next generation of workers today have corporate consciousness. We seek companies that care. We take our talent to the businesses that believe in what we believe in, a better tomorrow. This shift in power to a tech savvy and ethically driven next generation is proving that doing the right thing can also be the profitable thing to do. Yes, caring is a win-win. If you run a business with a moral background you will attract an innovative, inventive, and eager young work force. And while we can all admit millennial employees can be ‘interesting’ to manage, they also bring the vision for the future. Not to mention in an ever-awakening society fuelled by conscious millennial consumers who demand quality, reputable goods, created by ethical, sustainable businesses, the market for unconscious goods is shrinking. Insert the millennial market - the game changers and conscious change in consumerism and corporatism…
This new-age millennial market know what they want, what they stand for, and have no issues sharing on social media about products or services that don't meet the bar. We don’t just care who we work for, we care about what contribution we make. So, business leaders may want to think about how to entice talent. Especially with millennials estimated to make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025 (2013 Cone Communications Echo study). This isn't crystal ball consumer analysis, this is a wonderful awakening to the facts of rising consciousness. And guess what – eco, sustainable, organic is not a fad, it is a growing expectation. In fact, 91% of those studied shared they would have no issue ditching a brand they have been loyal to, if they found a similar product or service with higher ethical standards.
As a millennial social influencer, I fall into this group of shifting conscious consumers. Yes, I have a reusable grocery bag, a refillable drink bottle, try to shop locally and organically where and when possible, and most of all, focus on promoting and advocating inspiring businesses who are ethically motivated and part of the conscious consumer movement.
As a social influencer to over 100,000 conscious consumers, I know the power of having millennial social ambassadors on your side. A reputable social influencer will have 10x the reach, connection, and engagement for a brand than you can throw a 'blow-up car sale waving man' at. Our product endorsements are reputable, trusted, and weigh up the truths. If a business isn't collaborating with social influencers, isn’t aligning with conscious consumers, and meeting the millennials at least half way, then they may as well not have a website and take out an ad in the yellow pages instead.
New age. New time. New attitude. New workers. New consumers. We are changing the game in what real, authentic, and conscious advertising means to an awakened audience. Millennials especially have seen their parents duped and tricked by advertising and infomercials making them savvy in accessing a 'deal' and seeking out endorsement of quality products that add to their life. We are far more likely to trust our pairs than a photo shopped billboard or a sleazy jingle. And we aren’t afraid to pay more for quality, experience, and lifestyle. Just take the rise in coffee and avocado sales. We know what we want. We know what we value. That’s exactly why organic, fairtrade, eco-minded businesses are on the rise. Take companies like WE-AR, refillery businesses, and stores that promote local produce and zero plastic shopping bags. Consumers are asking how the products they are purchasing are made, where they are made, and checking the pulse of the businesses they buy from.
“You cannot mock a mindful millennial market. The alert audience of today have evolved into better consumers. Switched on. Activated. Awake.”
So, business with soul, essence, substance, passion, purpose - this is the conscious company of tomorrow. Built on social sustainability and conscious collaborators from the workers to the consumers who collectively ask for more. Who moderate and social mediate the truth. Who rave or rage about a business’s back bone. Businesses that don't evolve, are destined to stay where they currently sit, unevolved and going extinct.
Times are most definitely changing, and so too are consumers. With the shift to more buyers demanding products with soul, more companies are choosing ethically sourced products and textiles, pay fair wages if they manufacture off-shore with good working conditions, and support the local community and market. Not only are there more conscious products hitting the shelves, there are more benefits for those who create them. Literally creating a more conscious tomorrow, from source to seller.