January: a time of ambitious goal setting and New Year's resolutions. Big, bold visions of radiant health, success and r
Are you wondering what LOHAS stands for? Don’t feel bad if you aren’t familiar with it yet. If you’re in the yoga business or own a spa, you understand it more than you know. LOHAS is a convenient marketing buzzword that stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. Simply put, it refers to the $227 billion dollar consumer market of people who want more consciousness in their day-to-day lives, and are spending their money accordingly. This large subculture is detailed in the book, “The Cultural Creatives” by Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson. If you’re building a business in the alternative health and wellness industry, you’re probably in this demographic yourself. Either way, chances are good that a hefty percentage of your income comes from LOHAS consumers. This is not just a trend, but a massive change in the way that we all do business.
The LOHAS Journal first coined the phrase, and attributes 5 key values to this group of people:
• Sustainable Economy
• Healthy Living
• Alternative Healthcare
• Personal Development
• Ecological Lifestyles
In my opinion, the most important aspect of conducting business in this new marketplace is authenticity. People are burnt out on hype and manipulation. The old-style marketing machine is still grinding away, but LOHAS consumers are demanding change. When more conscious consumers become conscious business owners, capitalism as we know it will change.
If you’re already a business owner that has an inspired vision and wants to make a difference – this is your time! The new economy is much more about quality than “empty quantity.” By bringing more of your authentic values and passion into your work, you will not only feel more fulfilled, but you will be on the leading edge of this new age of conscious commerce.
Whether you’ve been in business for awhile or are just starting out, it’s a good idea to reevaluate your practices to see if they fit with your values, especially as your business grows and changes:
• Are you performing services the way you want to serve, or simply like you were trained?
• Does your work environment inspire you to be creative?
• Are you still procrastinating on making time for eating right and working out, even though you’re in a health business yourself?
• Would it really be that inconvenient to start recycling your office paper?
By making even small changes in the way your business runs, so that everything you do is aligned with your values, you’ll feel happier and healthier at work. Show your customers that you care about them and the environment, and they will also feel great about your work. Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” That’s exactly what you need to do to create a successful business within the LOHAS community.
10 Ways to Turn Off the LOHAS “Conscious Consumer”
• Using synthetic perfumes & detergents in your products or services.
• Wasting paper by sending multi-page offers by mail.
• Double-bagging or using too much packing materials.
• Playing music with harsh language or aggressive beats.
• Getting annoyed when they ask about ingredients.
• Telling them what to do, instead of asking them what they want.
• Rushing them to a close or not being willing to discuss their needs.
• Not being willing to send them elsewhere, if they ask for a referral.
• Outsourcing employment to socially irresponsible or unjust countries.
• Marketing your products/services as “natural,” when they aren’t.