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Beyond consumerism


While marketers may not have been quick to agree with the Pope when he said that modern society is “intoxicated by consumerism” on Christmas Eve, his sentiments may not be falling on completely deaf ears within the profession. Marketers are unlikely to renounce their possessions to grow beans on an ashram anytime soon, but there is a pervading sense in the industry that consumers are subject to too much marketing communication.

The digital age has exposed the consumer to a deluge of advertisements, and while this provides marketers with opportunities to engage with prospects, it also increases the risk of messages being drowned out by the crowd. In order to stand out, marketers need to let consumers know how a particular product, brand, or consumer will change their world and the world around them for the better.

A great 2015 example is Android’s ‘Be Together, Not the Same’ campaign, which highlights how consumers could benefit from working together while retaining their individuality. While this approach did not explicitly highlight the benefits of an Android smartphone, it subtly focuses on Android’s key messages while positioning the brand as a driver of change. With over 7 million hits on YouTube so far, the campaign is clearly engaging would-be customers.

The trend will become more pronounced in 2016 and its important marketers stick to certain principles such as transparency, rewarding loyalty and sense of purpose in order to engage with the modern and self-aware consumer.

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