More Than Stuff

Smith, J. Walker
March 2004
Marketing Management;Mar/Apr2004, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p56
This article warns marketers of discontent in the consumer marketplace. The early warning signs of a shift in priorities are everywhere. But it's more than changing tastes--it's a declining enthusiasm for consuming. The ebbing gusto for unbridled shopping does not mean consumers are going to abandon the marketplace. Instead, consumers are going to be more cautious, more exacting, and more resistant to marketing. They will demand more before they shop, and this means a higher cost of doing business in the traditional way. Marketers are in the spotlight due to public health concerns about obesity and diabetes. While marketers have faced scrutiny before, what's happening now will be more far-reaching because food marketing is so pervasive and is an archetype for the marketing of many other products. Other worries are battering the consumer mood as well. Consumers now live in the shadow of terrorism, which puts them on edge about travel, debt, safety nets, and security. Time now to start learning what consumers want in a post-materialism marketplace.


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