Integrity is hard to attain and easy to lose. Consumers, once they sense deceit will turn against the company. Advertising works in two ways: either the consumer tells good things about the company or gives ten times larger negative feedback. Nobody likes being deceived. Any communication, internal or external, should be based on reliable facts, checked beforehand, for this reason. Just like consumers, employees, suppliers, and any other stakeholder will not appreciate even the slight appearance of deception. Business research is appropriate, but ethically challenged. The goal may be to find best practice data, but the research is directed towards the participants and their desire to seek acceptance from the interviewer.
In the definition of consumer society, according to the Professors in marketing, Armstrong and Kotler (2003), marketing uncovers the core essence of consumer society as latter articulates the essentials of marketing. In theory, the consumer society is developed on the notions of purchasing power that drives consumers to act, as well as their behavior patterns of buying. In retrospect, we need critical examination of the nature of consumer theory and give the recommendation for the consumer integration processes (Keith, 2007). Economic stipulation and the innovations’ dynamics are essential in the study of consumer society. They assist in the analysis of the consumers’ behavior and evaluate the underlying consumer behavior predomination.
Consumer society theory contains the collectivist and individualistic background tendencies. Traditionally, collectivist behavior is interpreted as to be a good and acceptable group member behavior, whereas individualist behavior is seen as deviation from group norms. Given the individualistic nature of the American culture, based on freedom of rights and the individual pursuit of happiness, where is the bridge between personal and consumer society systems of virtue and justice? The first theoretical and ideal concept to be examined is rules orientation. This concept suggests that individual and group behavior is rational and certain in terms of fairness and justice. The second concept is freewill orientation. This concept suggests that individuals and groups are free to do or think whatever they want in terms of behavior. Most consumers practice common sense pragmatism. They choose ideologies based on situations.
Two concepts that illustrate common sense pragmatism are enlightened self-interest and the social contract. Enlightened self-interest is freewill oriented. In the theory of social contract, people conduct business with the choices and constraints of self-interest. Theory of the social contract, that is more rule-oriented, has facilitated market capitalism for centuries. This linked model, in theory, promotes and constrains consumer and merchant behavior. When business professionals break the principles of that convention, severe consequences follow, including compromised credibility and trust.
What drives self-interest of the society? Consider three main factors: satisfaction, materialism and achievement. How much materialism and achievement lead to satisfaction? The business professional must examine the factors and determine their levels to be achieved. What drives and what rewards? Is satisfaction a driver or a reward?
Finally, there are principles and theory of power and control on the personal and community level. How much personal power and control in the market economy exists and how much power and control do consumer society organizations hold? In theory, we have a mixed capitalistic market system. Powerful and wealthy individuals and organizations hold significant power and control over resources in market economies. In addition, community (governmental and non-governmental) organizations have mechanisms of power and control.
However, there have been episodes in economic and political history where those conditions have caused social chaos, while master/slave or ruling class/subject relationships and economic classes developed. Those developments caused market economies to be altered by community forces through legal and social agreements and contracts until the theory of a middle class emerged.
The mentioned economic tensions were coming in waves worldwide at the beginning of the 21st century in terms of the great economic recession of 2008. While the largest part of the world remains a relatively mixed market economy regarding balance of personal and community power and control, the system has received violent shocks. Consumer knowledge on various aspects of the products instills a sense of branding and gives the consumer the option of choosing what they want. Consumer awareness is the most essential way for an individual to boost the confidence of buying (Keith, 2007). To ensure this, a particular aspect of the corporate branding has been developed, assistance in getting consumers familiar with products and having better understanding of the product that is in the market. A strong recognition and the emergence for interpretation of corporate are imminent in the attraction of employees/customers.
Choice and preferences are common actions among consumers, and they give a variety of options to select. Purchasing power of consumers is their ability to purchase according to financial capability. According to Armstrong, Kotler (2003) the overall general idea of consumer behavior relies on the household preferences and on the consumption level of people involved. These behaviour patterns are identified by the final decisions that consumers are subjected to as the last bidder of the product. To establish the basis of consumer behaviour, the choices made are more prevalent to marketing processes.
According to Jobber, (2006) framework for buying is based on social, cultural, psychological and personal factors. I have elaborated these further in the next paragraph. Marketing choices greatly influence the preference of the consumer and the purchasing power; this makes it easy for the consumer to make a decision based on the marketing patterns.