The Messiah of Consumerism

It is not hard to correlate food shortage riots in developing countries with the Top 10 most profitable companies in the world, 5 of which are oil companies (2 US, 2 Europe and 1 Russian). The sky-rocketing price of oil exceeded OPEC’s control, pretty much since the invasion of Iraq. Conspiracy theorists are all over this one, speculating how a secret cabal of industrialists might intentionally be creating an economic war of attrition in order to survive a prolonged realignment in world economic power. The same conspiracy theorists struggle with the paradox of massive profit aggregation to the detriment of the world’s food supply. And well they might.

Not that this blog is a geopolitical commentary.

I am writing this because customer-centric marketing is that virtuous equalizer of imbalance and injustice in all markets where it is the choice exercised by the customer that persuades businesses, industries and economies to pay attention. Customer-centric marketing is that pure notion of a market democracy. If the Messiah of Consumerism were to arrive tomorrow, he would preach customer-centric marketing and all of the following would clammer to hang him from the gibbet.

Take a look at the geopolitical currencies now in play:

  • Capitalism: the pursuit of wealth in a free market where the goal is to be the only winner.
  • Communism: the pursuit of common interest where the goal is to be the only one in power.
  • Neo-socialism: the pursuit of common interest where the goal is to not appear too much like communism.
  • Fascism: the pursuit of segregated interest where the goal is to be the only survivor.
  • Fundamentalism: the pursuit of religious interest where the goal is to be the only true believer.
  • Liberalism: the pursuit of common freedoms where the goal is to be the only policy-maker.
  • Neo-conservatism: the pursuit of traditional values where the goal is to prevent liberals from being the policy-maker.
  • Terrorism: the pursuit of fanatical interest where the goal is for there to be no survivors.

Where among this group would customer-centrism fit?

Customer-centrism: the pursuit of purchase choice based on personal values where the goal is for long-term relationships to be maintained between supplier and customer.

If you look at all these other isms stacked against it, it is will be an uphill battle to change the world to a more sensitive view of consumer values, based on the economic incentive. Particularly when most companies in a free market economy are less interested in serving their customers than themselves.

But, those individual businesses in competitive markets who choose to apply customer-centric marketing will do very nicely.

While the fiddlers fiddle as Rome burns, some of us will maintain our focus and chart a course of sustainable viability even in turbulent economic situations.

If I were Secretary General of the UN, that might move things along.

Those who know me will appreciate both the humor and the underlying truth that humor puts into play.