Consumerism: Are we to blame?


Our lifestyle today is surrounded and somewhat mesmerized by the idea of consumerism. As humans we naturally buy things, whether it is to satisfy our basic needs or wants. However who is to blame for the excess use of consumerism that leads our society astray? We always try to find somebody other than ourselves to blame, but surely consumption is a personal choice?

Marketers, marketing, advertising and promotion are the first things on our list to blame for excessive consumerism. The idea that marketers make us believe we need a product when in actual fact, we can do just fine without it. The idea that advertising is evil obsessed with profit and therefore being blamed for the world’s climate change. However is it even possible that the world of marketing can control a human’s mind of thinking? As individuals we know we don’t need something then why do we let ourselves buy it? 

Purely accusing marketing and the idea of consumerism may seem a little naive, for surely doing this means we blame ourselves. The characters of marketing involve identifying what consumers want and orienting production from that. The customer’s satisfaction is always the most valued topic on a marketer’s mind. To further this point, marketing can be considered as an ethical process as good marketing does not just end a transaction but creates relationships with the customer keeping their loyalty. It costs a lot more to require a new customer then to keep an old one. As consumers we allow ourselves to live in a profitable society, as long as we can survive comfortable in this world. As people we demand products and always want more, perhaps this is due to the different classes, wanting what the rich can get. As we let ourselves live in a profitable, business oriented society can we blame the free markets for all the troubles? 

Personally, I consume more then I should, but I only blame myself for that. Clothes, handbags and shoes all typically a girl’s favourite possessions and classically mine. I believe I have the self control but whether I choose to use it or not depends purely on myself. I understand and respect why the marketing industry may be blamed for the outcomes of society today but then again it also follows the idea of conformity which seems unavoidable. I believe marketing, product development, advertising and consumerism is another way to express growth, innovation and creativity which is why I feel engrossed to the topic on many levels.

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