By Jessica Bubenheim, on 30 July 2021
The LOHAS (Lifestyle on Health and Sustainability) target market segment is becoming increasingly important. In almost all sectors the popularity of LOHAS is increasing. In order to fully maximize the potential of this target group, it’s important to customize all activities specifically for LOHAS, including marketing & communication, sales, product development, and customer relationship management.
This article outlines a complete guide to the LOHAS market segment. We’re recommending a specific approach to your LOHAS marketing activities since this target group requires specific segmentation, messaging, and tools.
The LOHAS Target Market Segment
The acronym LOHAS stands for "Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability." In recent years the LOHAS market segment has become more and more widespread. It is defined as a lifestyle or market segment that is focused on green or ecological initiatives, and is made up of a group of people who are generally well-educated and will to spend a bit more on products or services that align with their values.
This demographic is socially engaged and wants to know where the things they buy come from, how they are made, and by whom. Sustainable consumption is a priority to this group, especially in the areas of nutrition, apparel, and household items.
The LOHAS segment's consumer behavior is supported by a greater awareness of social and environmental responsibility. This group has understood that their consumer habits have a broader impact. LOHAS intend to vote with their wallets, and through their responsible consumption, make significant contributions to environmentally and socially responsible businesses
LOHAS Segmentation Statistics
According to surveys conducted by the SevenOne Mediabasic Study, the LOHAS segment's willingness to pay more for ethical products is evident. These products include a wide range of things but usually fall in categories such as:
- Fair trade
- Natural products
- Hybrid or electric vehicles
- Energy efficient electronics
The ConsumerView study questioned consumers' understanding of sustainability issues. The study surveyed 2,000 households with the aim of understanding the extent to which sustainability actually influenced purchasing decisions. The results can be summarized as follows:
- The theoretical understanding of sustainability is great, almost 40% of those surveyed concretely associate sustainability with the conscious use of resources.
- Sustainability plays a role in every 5th purchase decision. Among baby food, meat, fish, fruits & vegetables sustainability is a very influential factor.
- After the price and brand, sustainability is the third most important factor in the purchase decision. Sustainability ranks before packaging and advertising.
In everyday consumer conduct, there still exists a mind-behavior gap. This is a gap between the growing willingness of consumers to switch to sustainable alternatives, and their actual purchasing decisions. Cognitive dissonance and lack of choices are identified as the two main factors keeping customers from making the ‘green switch’.
According to a study by the Federal Environment Agency, the LOHAS target group can be identified by the following characteristics:
- LOHAS Women tend to behave more ecologically than men.
- Higher education is a positive influencing factor regarding environmentally friendly behavior.
- There is no significant correlation between income and environmental behaviour.
- Personal values are clearly classified as the most important factor.
Digital Marketing Strategy for LOHAS
LOHAS are active on various digital media channels and social networks. A Google search for LOHAS yields almost 14,000,000 results. So how can you engage this market segment?
Increase Brand Awareness on Major Platforms
Social groups outnumber classic content websites, and some individual profiles even garner more views, so it is definitely worth your time to establish your social media presence. However, to ensure that your efforts get results, it's important to make sure you understand this segment and what it is you can offer them. You'll need to research which platforms are most effective when it comes to reaching this audience and create some buyer personas to get a clearer idea of who you are marketing to, how you can solve a problem for your customers, why they should choose you. Then you can build up your online presence with a clear goal and a strategy to back it up.
Provide Transparency and Utilize Content Marketing
Thanks to the internet and social media, there has been a constant increase in both information quality and transparency. Through this, the LOHAS community is empowered with real-time ethical standards by sustainable businesses today. To get your brand noticed among the LOHAS community, it’s important to publish relevant content that is easily shareable online. Just make sure that whatever you publish reflects your brand's values and is authentic.
Honesty Results in Customer Loyalty
In the digital age, one activity to steer clear from is greenwashing. This type of false sustainability marketing is increasingly being exposed, creating a great deal of outrage on social media. Exposed greenwashing activities may result in a persistent negative corporate image. A prominent example from is the Greenpeace campaign against the food company Nestlé. After consistently making sustainability promises to their customers, Nestlé used palm oil for the production of their chocolate bars. Their palm oil production has destroyed vast areas of habitats for endangered species, and once these unethical activities were uncovered, the social media was rightly outraged.
The LOHAS target market segment are ethical consumers. Their strong affinity for technology and their presence on social media make them very communicative. With a large portion of the LOHAS group involved in and blogging, podcasting, influencer work etc. they can be often be classified as thought leaders who sway the opinions of those around them, whether literally or virtually, so their customer satisfaction should be made a priority.