Consumerism Trap

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Need, Fundamental human needs Pages: 13 (4307 words) Published: March 26, 2011

`The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.`

Mad Magazine

What Is Consumerism?

There must be more to life than having everything!

Maurice Sendak

Consumerism it’s a trend, an atitude and an choice. According to Business Dictionary[i], consumerism can be defined on three branches.The first branch can be seen as a trend, defined as Organized-efforts by individuals, groups, and governments to help protect consumers from policies and practices that infringe consumer rights to fair business practices. The trend aspect of the consumerism it’s linked directly with the encouraging of the consumption, of creating a safe consumption environment and a regulated competition practices and policies. Once the focus changed from the product to the customer, than to selling and to customer relationship, the customer response time became shorter and shorter, and the consuption continued to grow proportionally with the actions taken by the marketers. So, the consumerism attitude it`s in direct correlation with the marketing activism, creating customers whom are willing to buy, to have more, to consume more. The second branch of the consumerism is the attitude branch, defined as the doctrine that ever-increasing consumption of goods and services forms the basis of a sound economy. Once the trend it`s created, once the consumer, the customer feels safe and important, once the marketing activities are a continuous factor, the consumer attitude continues to be maintained and entertained by the marketers and governments. As long as the marketer and the company continues to take action for captivating and maintaining the customers` attention, the customer will happily come into play, continuing to consume as long as the company continues to produce and to market it’s products, and as long as the company will continue to promote its products. The customer attitude facilitate the company’s progress trough purchases’ made again and again, and the company will facilitate the diversity trough research and development trough coming with new and improved products on the market. So the consumerism, it`s not a attitude taken only by individuals making purchases’, but by individuals making purchases’ in collaboration with companies with desire and possibility to develop, to grow and to offer appropriate marketed new products. The third branch it’s the choice to consume, defined as continual expansion of one's wants and needs for goods and services. In other words it’s the process of satisfying unlimited wants with limited resources. Moreover, the actions taken by marketing for making wants to be perceived as needs, creates much more diversity and direction in a specific segment of a targeted market. This is the way marketers do not only create needs, but specific, common perceived needs, which can be satisfied trough specific products and services, so that the chaotic, personalized needs to be as much as possible standardized trough choosing one of the multiple version available on the market at one time, usually not the best, but the best marketed version. Consumerism it`s not a choice whether to buy or not, but it’s a multiple choice game: what to buy, what price, when and why.

How It Works – Understanding The Unseen Forces Of The Consumerism

`Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. `

Mohandas K. Gandhi, quoted in E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful

The consumerism it is based on the humans needs and desires. The attitude of mass purchasing, the desire for having more, the desire for a higher lifestyle, are considered the base for economical growth. And partly this statement is truth. The desire for more determines people develop, work harder, specialize, as Adam Smith suggested, sell more time, as Marx...
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