“Marketing is the art of creating genuine customer value. It is the art of helping your customers become better off. The marketer’s watchwords are quality, service, and value.” as said by Marketing Guru Philip Kotler.
Consumerism is increasing day by day, especially when it comes to mass marketing, and advertising is being pushed down consumers’ throats. It isn’t any different on social media either. Market trends keep shifting and a brand that has strong recall today can be history tomorrow. So, today CMOs and business owners need to bear this in mind and not take it for granted that only advertisement can lift your brand.
Consumerism is defined by MacMillan Dictionary (1985) as; “Consumerism is concerned with protecting consumers from all organizations with which there is exchanged relationship. It encompasses the set of activities of government, business, independent organizations and concerned consumers that are designed to protect the rights of consumers”.
Consumers develop relationships with diverse brands as partners. Brands are humanized in the minds of consumers and therefore, provide symbolic meanings, images, and social and cultural values, which is beyond the utilitarian benefits, especially when consumer – brand relationship issues come in; consumers are more cautious now.
Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts and establishes consumer rights. When buying a brand, a consumer should consider a business’s reputation, the value of brand names, and the choices of store availability. Consumerism has been a tool for people to feel satisfied by purchasing and owning goods. Marketers can continuously find information about how brands can evolve in building and strengthening emotional bonds between brands and consumers. Businesses should be aware that, creating and maintaining emotional bonds is a continuous process. A consumer who is in love with a brand is more willing to be committed to that brand.
As we know, consumerism is a social phenomenon that empowers buyers and consumers, its effects are visible in the laws, regulations and also in marketing practices. It keeps a check on the companies and ensures that the consumers get quality products that are safe for them at the right price.
Now it is time for deep dive in. Intelligent business owners have embraced the concept of branding since commerce began thousands of years ago. Within the past few decades, the concept of branding has become a buzzword. Although the attention paid to the concept of branding has been positive, sometimes the misuse of the term has created confusion.
A brand is not a logo or an advertisement. Branding is not creating a new name or identity. A brand is a tangible product or service and the feelings that are associated with the product. Branding is carefully crafting what you offer and managing the feelings and expectations of your customers. But if that feeling gets hurt emotionally then it hurts consumers’ rights. For that very reason, buying behavior might change or get interrupted. Emotions have far more impact on our decision-making process than logic alone.
The value of understanding and managing a brand are numerous. Companies that manage their brand not only have greater positive word-of-mouth advertising, but they also enjoy greater customer loyalty and higher profitability. The return on branding is not just about generating positive feelings; the payoff is something that can be reflected in your bottom line.
As consumerism grows, it will require a shift in how consumers think about and engage with products or service consumption. It will also require a shift in the basic philosophy of many business leaders, some of whom might seem to be disowning the fact that any change will occur.
We all know branding begins with attitude and which is strategic thinking also. If a company is not focused on its basic vision, it is not maximizing its resources. There are two basic strategic components in branding. The first is brand vision and the other strategic component is brand position. If vision is the internal driving force, then positioning is the external driving force. It is how a company wants to be seen and valued by its customers.
THE VALUE OF UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING A BRAND ARE NUMEROUS. COMPANIES THAT MANAGE THEIR BRAND NOT ONLY HAVE GREATER POSITIVE WORD-OF-MOUTH ADVERTISING, THEY ENJOY GREATER CUSTOMER LOYALTY AND HIGHER PROFITABILITY. THE RETURN ON BRANDING IS NOT JUST ABOUT GENERATING POSITIVE FEELINGS; THE PAYOFF IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE REFLECTED IN YOUR BOTTOM LINE.
The foundation of any product or service is the features or processes that it provides. These represent the day-to-day deliverables of the product or service; they must be delivered to provide value. These represent the functional or emotional benefits that are being provided by a product or service.
The change in the perspective in consumerism is going to open a whole new arena of marketing opportunities for companies, retailers, financial institutions and anyone who wants to work to attract currency from the consumer.
To better understand and manage a brand, one needs to invest in professional help in the form of a marketing consultant or by hiring a professional strategic marketer and not by salespeople or only hiring an advertising agency. These exercises will help to align the staff and understand the brand development journey.
Consumerism is not just about selling the physical manufactured goods but also about the image or the branding of the product itself as well. Consumerism hasn’t yet reached its tipping point, but companies can take initiatives that will make the brands more than just a commodity and as products to stand out.
Now companies need to take care of consumer rights by becoming honest, and being reasonable, informed and involved. It’s their corporate responsibility that concerns environmental protection, workplace diversity, safety on the job, employee wellness, social responsibility, and business ethics.
So, what will make or break your brand depends on, how the brand is truly using all the corporate responsibility aspects. An ethical business decision is based on a sense of morality and rules of conduct. A socially responsible decision is based on an understanding of what is good for the environment, the needs of the community, the fair treatment of employees and consumers as a whole.
Companies are engaging the legal and compliance department to ensure the right and fair treatment of customers. Now businesses and marketers should take care of these aspects as good corporate citizens to create ethical brand perception, protect consumer rights and gain confidence.