19 Feb 2016
Our present Economic Situation is none-other-than a tightly-wadded piece of intrapersonal fabric. Since there is a debt pressure looming ominously over the horizon – employers and economic strategists are right in pushing a heavily capitalistic front. Those who can innovate will catch the bulk of the market. But the implication is that with an overly individualistic society, there is no possibility of change. People are going to get what they want to get, and thus the demand has to be the motivating force behind supply which the industries must submit to. But there are two things wrong with this perspective. One, business’ have never had to submit to their consumer base, as though their new ideas will be completely garbage, and stock market stats are the only forecasting for the personal interests of people in the present age. Two, the consumer him/herself has the capacity to change his/her habits. While one or two individuals changing brands might not change much, those who go through a major life change (like studying abroad and then returning) may likely have some interest in trying new and different things. The consumer is as guilty as dumb-firing the market as the manufacturer/retailer is!
There needs to be a change in the way our present marketing situation works. Manufactures should be motivated by making products that they themselves see irrefutably helpful. Of course, many products on the market are actually done this way. These are generally the same products that are not recalled, are hardly ever returned, and customer reviews are rating very well. And it is no surprise. These products benefit people’s lives! Consider Sony. They have a long-standing brand of quality in the music business. They can make a good digital device. They are known not to “skimp” on the goods. The problem then is meeting the expectations that have now been established. Those who don’t “make the cut” are cut. Employees must rise to the standard that is only held up because a progressively maintained product line is still selling – and probably because it has “sony” on it exclusively! No one has to be told that stress in the market leads to job loss – but is it no one’s fault? Perhaps it is the fault of no one recognizing that the demand is leading the supply like a dog chasing it’s tail!
Consumers have equal blame. They have the right to turn down any product that isn’t priced proportionally. But everyone goes for the “deals”. So the “deals” stay priced as they are, continually made as they are, and when they wear out, break, or dim – customers phone in, email, and return for refunds. The manufacturer hears of the complaints and fixes the bare minimum to keep the product selling at or lower then it’s market value. Innovation follows the buyer, rather then the buyer following the innovating product! This is the case for the film industry as well. Movie synopsis’ will get investments if they follow a prescribed successful pattern. Films that are “risky” can be colossal tragedies at the box office, but those movies that have basically followed past plot lines are not really pushing society forward.
Our modern society seems to know what it wants because of what it sees around it. If one gets a shiny new Ipod, then the next person who see’s it is inclined to get one of their own. Naturally the difference between “liking” someone’s stuff and “envying” it was taught in elementary school, but the “I want one too!” attitude seems to be a mature version of the same thing as adults. And the whole industry is playing along! I have been playing close attention to a new genre developing in the entertainment industry. It is Virtual Reality, or VR. Google has long been in it with their Google Cardboard, but now the high-dollar cannons are getting their last-minute touches before rolling out with Occulus Rift as the leading name yet to be released to the consumer! HTC Vive will be a unique option apparently not requiring a device to connect into, and Sony is rolling out their own set for use with their PlayStation4. People are flocking to something that is untested. What if VR isn’t what we think it is? Just because people are buying, doesn’t mean what you are making is good…
Long story short, it isn’t the name brand that makes a good product. And it isn’t good just because “everyone has it”. It’s good if it is benefiting your life, and just so regardless of what “your peers are saying”. You still have a say in what you want to own. Money still doesn’t spend itself, and investors are relying on numerical patterns they think tell them what you want to make what they hope you will buy. Innovators should never forget to dream, to get outside of “the rat race” – and start having fun again. Life is more then just buying and selling, competing and winning. And who knows, if enough people get onboard with “smart economics”, we may have some money to actually summit this fiscal cliff and come out alive!