Meet the CorpSumer: Your Brand’s Biggest Advocate (and Threat)
What if you were told your business is missing out on reaching one third of the population of the U.S.? If you aren’t familiar with what a CorpSumer is, then you could be doing just that.
What is a CorpSumer?
A CorpSumer is a brand activist who considers a company’s values, actions, and reputation to be just as important as their product or service. CorpSumers care so deeply about the morals and values of the brand that they’re willing to continue supporting it even if they’re disappointed in the product itself. They actively seek out information about a company’s ethics, philanthropic efforts, and reputation in the industry before making a purchase decision. CorpSumers are considered a new market segment because they go beyond simply caring about the “goodness” of a brand – they encourage or discourage their peers based on their findings, and consider themselves to be highly influential activists of a brand. The flip side, of course, is that CorpSumers can also pose as a huge threat to brands with controversial or unfavorable reputations – making it more crucial than ever for brands to care about their place in the public eye.
Who are they?
CorpSumers represent one in three Americans, or approximately 100 million – a larger segment than Millennials. CorpSumers are likelier than the average American to be Millennials or Gen X-ers, well educated, full-time workers, high income earners, and parents. They invest their money and loyalty into brands that display values similar to their own.
What does it mean for your brand?
Just having good customer service isn’t enough – a brand must be aware of the bigger picture. Reputation goes beyond minimizing complaints, putting forth a squeaky-clean image, and conducting after-the-fact damage control. Companies must explore non-traditional avenues of advertising, stretch beyond the usual selling points like price, features, and specs, and focus on conveying a genuine persona. Companies should be aware that CorpSumers can be good or bad for business. They’re highly influential in the social community and are more than willing to praise—or denounce—your brand.
How can you reach CorpSumers?
CorpSumers go to great lengths to learn about a brand or company, so make it easy for them to learn about yours. Be honest about your brand, and make information easily shareable. Tell a story. Talk about why you do what you do, how the company got started, what its goals are, and what it cares about. What philanthropic efforts has your company been involved in? What charities has it supported? Does your company give back to the community? CorpSumers see these as major brownie points when it comes to supporting your brand, so be upfront. Lastly, be “human.” Own up to mistakes, create a personal connection, and show vulnerability in order to appeal to this segment. Don’t be afraid to show a little personality. Hiding behind a cold corporate facade creates a barrier between your brand and its greatest opportunity – the CorpSumer.