After my last book review about child prostitution I decided to present a book that doesn't have anything to do with the darker sides of our society. It's another book currently only available in German, but I would suggest it will be translated at some point. It's a new book, published in 2008 and it's called "Greenomics".
This is a book for marketing professionals and anyone interested in market trends (for the record: I studied marketing.) It talks about a new group of consumers - the LOHAS. These are people who follow the Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability, which according to the book now over 30% of consumers belong to.
The LOHAS are interested in sustainability and "green lifestyle" and they buy accordingly. However, these are not the "hippies" from past days - they want the best design, the best quality and the best enjoyment out of their purchases.
The book also says the LOHAS is not a market segment in the traditional sense, but rather a megatrend. That means the group is not homogenic and cannot be "targeted", but that the green lifestyle will become more and more "norm" and more and more people will move from the "everything-must-be-cheap" way of thinking to the more thoughtful way of consuming.
All in all the book is very interesting. They discuss different market areas and what the LOHAS look for in these areas - the changes they are making in investment, food, clothes, travel and even city building.
I do think they've a point - I see more and more of LOHAS-type shops and consuming around me. Heck, I think I might even count myself in.
But one thing the authors almost completely forgot - the animals. They talk about LOHAS caring about nature and sustainability, but ignore the 10% vegetarian population in many Western countries (which for a big part surely can be classified as LOHAS). They talk about LOHAS buying organic meat and "natural product" silk or cashmere, but forget the big group of LOHAS who are vegan. They've basically forgotten all about the animal rights or welfare movement in the book, a big part of which is not driven by punks or hippies as the media often claims, but the so-called LOHAS! I think this is a big minus for the book, as the animal rights movement is in my opinion a vital part of "greenomics" and certainly has a lot of influence in the markets food and clothing (not to mention others like entertainment).
All in all a good book for anyone wanting to keep up with their market trends. I'm hoping to see more books about the theme in the future.