How a firm approaches innovation and social media directly affects how consumers choose brands
Following the Industrial Revolution, first manufacturers focused on profit, and then on quality. Step by step and backed by technology, businesses worked towards producing higher quality products at lower prices, and then by the 2000s, began incorporating extra services into their marketing strategies as well. Over time, this too took on a face of its own: brands wanted to strike an emotional chord with consumers. Today, virtually every brand strives for quality, price, and service. However, it is for this very same reason that they also to develop ways of setting themselves apart from the competition all the while hitting the consumer’s soft spot.
Consumers are no longer fond of advertising campaigns focused solely on urging you to buy
SOCIAL BENEFIT IS THE NEW SALES STRATEGY
Consumers are now forced to choose to swim in a sea of brands that are competing to grab their attention through quality, price, and service a by-product of this shift in marketing models. With that in mind, how a firm approaches innovation and social media directly affects how consumers choose brands. The latter, social media, unites consumers and creates a collective consciousness among them oriented towards contemporary issues. Therefore, brands need to go beyond quality, price, and service by acquiring a sense of social duty in order to comfort and alleviate consumers of their woes. Jumping on this bandwagon ensures not only a satisfied customer but also their survival.
CONSUMERS EXPECT MORE FROM BRANDS
Even if everything seems normal up to this point, some things aren’t what they seem at all. Now, consumers want to know every last detail about what it is they plan to buy, and won’t buy until they do from how its made and packed to where its raw ingredients come from and return to. Of course when this is said and done, and becomes normal for both parties, the consumer will again come to expect even more.
PEOPLE HUNGRY FOR SOCIAL VALUE
Consumers are no longer fond of advertising campaigns focused solely on urging you to buy. Rather, they expect products to solve social problems. This expectation has escalated to the point that consumers are even likely overlook particular service flaws, and even price and quality if they feel that a brand upholds a high sense of social duty and has personal value. However, as ambitious a claim as this might be, two Turkish examples that support it include Kızılay mineral water and the Mehmetçik Vakfı gas station company. Turkish consumers know why they buy (from) both and feel a sense of moral ease that the two put their money towards good causes.
Consumers may overlook particular service flaws if they feel that a brand upholds a high sense of social duty and has personal value
INDUSTRY 4.0’S TARGET: REVAMPING FORGOTTEN VALUES
The latest purchasing trends appear to be competing against brands with a sense of social commitment. As industry 4.0 makes manufacturing easier, there will come a point when people will want to revamp long forgotten values. Out will go social pressure, and in will come social utility. Instead, the consumer will look at a brand based on its values and invest in that. What’s more, its looks as though things are already slowly but surely going in this direction.
THE WORLD IS BEGINNING TO DRIFT TOWARDS PRODUCING SOCIAL BENEFIT
Last August, the CEOs of some 181 American companies (who comprise upwards of 30% of the American economy) published a white paper vowing that they will act justly and ethically towards investors and stakeholders, and that not will they will do everything in their power to become socially beneficial for the sake of the American economy and other companies. This massive step forward did not magically appear out of thin air, though. In fact, it isn’t even a new idea. The man to first plant this seed of change was Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates. At the World Economic Form in Davos, Switzerland back in 2008, he called upon the world to consider ‘creative capitalism.’ In his own words, “capitalism harnesses self-interest in a helpful and sustainable way, but only on behalf of those who can pay. But to provide rapid improvement for the poor, we need a system that draws in innovators and businesses in a far better way than we do today.” Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter takes the position that ‘shared value’ capitalism will only grow in the years to come. In short, capitalism is coming into the 21st Century as being socially beneficial. We must likewise do the same, to embrace the new. It the only way we can benefit our planet and succeed in the process.
The latest purchasing trends appear to be competing against brands with a sense of social commitment
Social Entrepreneur İsmail Hilmi Adıgüzel