Consumers are fighting back. We don’t just assume that brands do the decent thing. We’re asking questions. Awkward questions. It’s called Value Based Consumerism and it’s changing the face of commerce. Will your business fall foul of it or do you have a clear conscience? Here’s what you need to know about the value based consumerism revolution.
What is value based consumerism?
What, exactly is value based consumerism? If you want to know more about the companies that make the things you buy and the people who run those companies, you’re not alone. Consumer loyalty, always a delicate matter based on a person’s most recent experience of a brand, depends more than ever on a business’ politics, culture and behaviour.
If your business forces dozens of innocent hamsters onto a giant wheel to generate power and consumers find out, they’ll make a huge fuss on social media. It’ll maybe get into the news, your reputation will suffer, people will stop buying from you, and your website’s visibility will ultimately plummet in the search results.
Social media spreads messages as fast as lightning. Every ordinary person with a mobile phone, tablet or desktop can use the internet to delve deep into a company. It’s an alarming combination for businesses that are less than squeaky clean. If your directors are dodgy, people will eventually find out. If quality takes a nosedive, consumers will notice and spread the word. If you tear down rainforests or use dodgy palm oil in your products (Kellogs, we see you), consumers will discover it. If you support trophy hunting, we’ll uncover you. If you dodge your corporate taxes, we’ll soon know about it.
Part cosmic revenge, part natural consequence
Value Based Consumerism is here, in a way, because of social media. You could see it as cosmic revenge against marketers for taking over networks that were designed for socialising, not selling. Maybe it’s also a natural consequence of businesses collecting big data, our personal data, and using it to sell their wares to us. If they’re not going to pay for our data and they’re going to use it to sell us more stuff, we want to know all about the stuff they sell and the people who make it. It’s only fair.
We all want to buy good stuff from good people
Like most of us I want to buy good stuff from good people. Not people whose businesses invest in fossil fuels, help elect crazed politicians or have hidden money-making agendas. Not businesses that have ripped people off under another guise, or trolled their competitors, or scammed the vulnerable. Not businesses whose products and services drive climate change, pollute our environment, kill our wildlife or treat human beings like rubbish.
Is your business behaving like an arse?
If you currently do something in business that you suspect the wider public wouldn’t approve of, it’s a good idea to clean up your act before consumers catch on. We can and will be brutal, and customer loyalty doesn’t mean a thing when a business is acting like an arse.