Board Chairman and CEO,
Continuity Publishing, Inc.
The Heart of the Matter
Values-driven consumers are a basic economic reality. Consumer spending represents 70% of the U.S. gross domestic product, an enormous number when you consider the GDP includes government and business spending. Though estimates vary, the population segment known as LOHAS, or Lifestyles of Health and Sustainabililty, is at least 50 million strong and gaining ground. Business journalist and trend forecaster Patricia Aburdene, who predicted the rise of the Information Age in the 1980s in her book Megatrends, now predicts an economy based on ethics, values, and spiritual awareness. These values-driven consumers are actively seeking alignment between the money they spend and the values they hold in their heart. “Cultural Creative” and “Conscious Consumer” may sound like marketing labels, but they’re real people with a desire to “act out” their values, and they have money—$200 billion by some estimates.
We’re in the middle of a values shift on a global scale and the economics of that shift are becoming clear. As more of us open to a new vision for ourselves, our work, and our world, as we recognize that “we are all connected,” not just technologically but spiritually, our sense of separateness, our “economic individualism,” begins to chafe. We can feel what we’re missing, vaguely at first, then insistently. Once our feet are on the path, the search for meaning and pursuit of the sustaining qualities of spirit and community is relentless. Growing numbers of conscious consumers are hungry for experiences and images that support their heart-felt search. Media of all kinds is primary in this large-scale awakening. The transformative forces of film, books, art, and audio cannot be overestimated. In the end, what story will they tell and who will be listening?
Molly Trimble is publisher of Retailing Insight, the # 1 trade magazine for body-mind-spirit retailers in the U.S. With the conviction that business is the perfect place for communicating transcendent values, Molly has spent 17 years making sure wholesalers, retailers, and consumers of body/mind/spirit film, books, music, and other gracious goods connect through the exchange of products with meaning. Molly lives, teaches, writes, and runs in the rain in the Pacific Northwest.
“Life is a balance between transformation and resistance to transformation. Think of yourself as a dancer on the blurry edge separating order from chaos.” – Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D.