Google+ Consumer Psyche: Social values & purchases

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Social values & purchases

Your purchases are determined by what you read, understand and get to hear. They echo your habits, ideas, principles and beliefs, in all... your psyche. So when you know that a certain cola is causing ground water problems for some women in Rajastan or Kerala you tend to become averse to that product and skip its purchase. Not everyone does this but some do. Unfortunately the brand can't cheat you anymore like they used to do in the 70s and 80s. This was a time when TV and newspaper were the only sources of information apart from what was printed on the product's label. Information here acts as a moulder of psyche and guides consumer to make better choices and developing his psyche. This provides a leveling field equalizing all options.

Consumer knowledge is no longer peripheral but intense, wide and deep. This is bad news for products aren't built on societal values. Things like employing child labour, dangerous conditions at workplace, exploitation of natural resources, global warming are now turning to be deterrents of brand value like never before. Consumer's contribution-to-society-ego is satisfied here and hence the preference. That's why you pick up brands that donate a part of what you pay them to charity. May be a small amount but it tilts consumer's choice and hence worth it.

Should brands use this to leverage themselves over competition? I think they should. What if all the brands start doing so? Will the percentage of contribution or quantity matter then? My choice would be to a brand that is genuine and clear in its conscience when it says it feels for my principles and choices. It should connect to me on an emotional platform. Does this money actually go to change anything in the society? While many think this is just another social marketing gimmick, I hope it does.

What do you think?
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