Integrated marketing firm BBMG has an interesting report on what they term "conscious consumers". According to the report summary:
"While consumers continue to prioritize personal and practical concerns like health, safety, price and quality, they are also looking to make a difference in the world," said David Lubensky, founder of Bagatto, a San Francisco based ethnographic research firm. "We see a trend toward 'self-centered consciousness,' whereby consumers want companies to meet their personal needs and postively impact society."
While BBMG and the study focus on large international brands, their research results are very relevant to small businesses serving consumers. Consumers are looking for companies that have products that meet their personal needs and small businesses are very well positioned to provide customized or specialized products. Also, according to the report conscious consumers are interested in supporting local businesses and buying products made in America. Small businesses easily can meet these requirements.