Do we live in a republic of consumers?

In this article we are going to talk about the change of the society in the last 30 years in the market, as there is a big change from society of consumption to a consumer society. The business companies had the upper hand in the market, but now the consumers are the ones who have the last decision and companies must adapt themselves to this new time.
 The information society has changed our way of living and, therefore, also of consuming. A new consumer appears which breaks with the established rules. Brands must know how to ask, but above all listen and can react, to offer what this consumer demands.

The so-called consumer society appeared because of the mass production of goods, which revealed that it was easier to manufacture the products than to sell them, so the business effort was shifted towards its commercialization (advertising, marketing, sales, etc.). It is a society that needs more consumers than workers, from which also derives the increasing importance of the leisure industries that exploit the growing free time of citizens. From this mercantile and depersonalized perspective, subjects tend to stop being individuals, both for their use and for statistical purposes, with political (electoral) or commercial (consumption) purposes. For example: before, you went to a shoe store and chose the shoes that you liked, now you can customize them, and the company must adapt to what you are asking for.

At present, it emphasizes that the progress of abundance has as a counterpart increasingly serious damage, which are consequences of industrial development and technical progress, on the one hand, and consumption structures, on the other. On the other hand, we point out the great link between the abundance of rich societies and waste. And, in a way, all societies waste, squander, spend and consume always beyond what is strictly necessary. A definition of consumption is outlined as productive waste, understood as all production and expenditure beyond strict survival, where the superfluous precedes the necessary, where spending precedes accumulation and appropriation in value.

Equally, in this society the following paradoxical situation stands out, since a growing part of the active population works in sectors whose development is linked precisely to the general reduction of working time, such as industries and leisure and industrial services. Cultural, in a certain way, within the consumer society, time occupies a kind of privileged place; it is a time that is consumed.
Now, it seems that the important thing is not to like one, but to like others, and for that we must follow the imperative beauty established by fashion.

To sum up, we think that companies must adapt to the consumers demands because they are who decides what to buy and express their feelings and desires through social networks, spreading their opinions worldwide. Today companies must invest more time and money to listen to what consumers want.

 

Xavier Tarda
Pol Leyva

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