Are you a LOHAS? You may have heard the term before, but you probably have trouble nailing it down. But if you run a business in the 21st century, you can’t afford to miss this important and growing demographic.
LOHAS stands for “Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability.” Companies use this label to describe a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice. Widely recognized in North America, Europe, Australia, and South East Asia, the LOHAS market segment consists of six main areas:
- Personal and Health
- Natural Lifestyles
- Green Building
- Alternative Transportation
- Alternative Energy
How to Think Like a LOHASian
What does a hybrid car company have to do with an organic grocery store chain? To a “LOHASian”, it’s simple to see. A LOHASian integrates their values across all major areas of their lives. They tend to eat organic food, shop ethically, recycle almost anything, and use public transportation or highly efficient cars such as hybrids.
Estimates put the U.S. LOHAS market at approximately 41 million with a market potential of between $200 and $300 billion. Women of middle to upper income comprise approximately 55%-65% of the demographics. These LOHASians have significant influence over the buying decisions of their family and friends and represent a cultural transformation that is altering the very foundations of traditional business.
Although LOHASians make up one of the smallest consumer segments, it is one of the most powerful and fastest growing sectors. LOHASians tend to be early adopters of green and healthy lifestyles always looking for innovative and new products and services that will change their sustainable lifestyles. To a LOHASian, a company’s brand, business, and products are inseparable. For them, the decision to buy is not first based on price, but is instead based on the following three inseparable components:
- Pre-purchase - Is this a company and brand whose mission and values I support?
- Point of sale - Does this product or service meet my need for the right price?
- Post purchase - Is this package recycled or recyclable? Are the profits from my purchase going to be used ethically and responsibly?
A Global Force
In Asia, LOHAS branded foods, beverages, fashion labels, and department stores are popping up everywhere. It is thought that in Asia the LOHAS consumer group may quickly surpass the other consumer groups in size. A Peter Novelli report states that Europeans are 32% more likely than American consumers to buy products that have a mark or symbol associated with LOHAS. A recent study of Australians by Mobium Group shows that despite the global financial slowdown, spending on sustainable and healthy products and services has greatly increased, with both consumer and government-led purchases across a broad cross-section of industries.
LOHAS: Big Today, Bigger Tomorrow
With the growth, buying power, and influence held by LOHAS, it’s easy to see their importance to your company’s future. Have you already capitalized on the LOHAS revolution? Do you consider this segment when marketing your company’s products and services?