People showing off recyclable shopping bags on Car Free Day in Bekasi, West Java. (Antara Photo/Suwandy)

Indonesian Consumers Prefer Socially Conscious Brands: Study


JUNE 25, 2020

Jakarta. A study has revealed that Indonesian consumers are leaning more and more toward a "conscious lifestyle" and starting to show a preference for socially conscious brands. 

Last year, the Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living Asean (HILL Asean), a Japan-based advertising company, surveyed conscious consumerism among 4,500 respondents from six Asean countries – Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.


The study was conducted from August to September 2019.

"People in Asean member states have taken to this conscious lifestyle trend with aplomb," Devi Attamimi, HILL Asean director and the executive director of Hakuhodo International Indonesia, said on Thursday.

The study, titled "The Rise of Conscious Asean: Why Should You Care?" revealed that people in Asean member states – including Indonesia – are leading a more conscious lifestyle.

Around 86 percent of Indonesians are already practicing a conscious lifestyle. Indonesia is second only to Vietnam who sits on top with 91 percent of its citizens already aware and living the socially conscious lifestyle.

The Philippines follows in third with 84 percent and then Malaysia with 75 percent.

"Around 92 percent of Indonesians already know the term conscious lifestyle, and 93 percent have integrated it into their lifestyle," she said.

"Many Indonesian consumers use their own drinking tumbler, carry reusable shopping bags and use metal straws," Devi said.

The study finds that 74 percent of Indonesian consumers also prefer socially conscious brands. A further 83 percent want more brands to support a conscious lifestyle and make more positive impacts in the community.

Seventy-four percent of Indonesian consumers also said they are willing to pay more for conscious lifestyle products.

"Indonesians don't boycott, they buycott. They buy products and then recommend them to their friends," Devi said.

Brands Need to Prepare for Changing Market

Devi said the conscious-living market is growing and businesses need to start looking into the segment, which according to the research will be a dominant force in the market very soon.

"A new segment is forming, where consumers are fully conscious and feel responsible about their lifestyle. We call them the Consciouslites," she said.

"Brands should not ignore this new market segment. It will thrive in Indonesia soon and become a huge trend. More than 80 respondents in Indonesia have adopted this lifestyle," she said.

She said brands need to analyze the triggers and characters of this new type of consumers. 

"Their triggers are often something they see every day, something that makes them reconsider their old lifestyle and adopt a more conscious lifestyle. Here in Asean states, many people see the damage that has been done to the environment, and they think they need to do something," Devi said.

"Millennials have high buying power. Brands have to know what's going on in their minds," she said.

The study suggests businesses should abandon corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs for the more sustainable conscious and sustainable initiatives (CSI).

"Consumers know CSR is only a program that happens maybe once a year. CSI is continuous. CSR is program-based, while CSI can be incorporated into every process. CSR needs external partners, while CSI involves all stakeholders," Devi said.