Capitalism has undeniably allowed America to flourish in the two centuries since its founding. It has allowed the free exchange of goods across our borders and provided materials to expand industry. And with an expanded industry, we’ve been able to achieve economies of scale and mass production. Limited regulation has played a key role in this success, allowing companies efficiency in production and flexibility with the assurance that said production would not impact our communities and environment too significantly. Above all, capitalism has allowed marketing to cater to us, the consumers. And like all things do, marketing has evolved over the ages.
Before the 1860’s, there were primarily barter economies. However, come the Industrial Revolution, industrialization allowed for more efficient mass production, which in turn allowed for decreased cost of producing goods. Other companies began to pursue the same strategy, creating large-scale competition between industries.
By the 1940’s, companies had begun to focus on customer retention and brand loyalty, striving to create products that would outperform their competition, therefore strengthening the brandname. However, this still put most of the power in the hands of large businesses who “knew” that the consumer would buy their product.
But in the late 1990’s, businesses had phased into the revolutionary relationship-marketing era, the current system that allows the consumer to hold most of the say in the customization of their products and services. Because of this, today’s marketers are heavily invested in researching consumer’s needs and preferences in order to tailor a company’s products and services to their desire. Seeing the times changing, other companies have begun to adopt the same strategy, creating a system where customer loyalty has become the most important aspect of marketing.
This new trend has created a shift in many areas, a major player of which being political implications. Since businesses are now geared towards satiating customer demands, consumers have begun to buy from the businesses that cater to their lifestyles, habits, interests, ideas, and yes, even their politics and activism. Whether it’s Tesla creating electric cars and more efficient energy storage units to capture the “green” market, or the NCAA, Snickers, or Oreo advancing LGBT causes to retain and attract supporters of that movement, marketers and industries are trying to garnish support for their brand via supporting popular trends.
Because it helps to build brand image, companies are now more eager to perform corporate social responsibility (CSR). For instance, TOMS provides eye wear, clean water, and shoes to needy areas. But TOMS isn’t doing this purely for the sake of doing good; they know customers will be more likely to buy a pair of shoes if another pair will be donated to children in need.
The best outcome of this trend is that companies will remain competitive with each other, constantly trying to one-up their competitors. This is important because when companies compete, they prioritize improving their products and services to create a better impression. For instance, while temporary aid is good, some companies have started to consider engaging in ventures that would advocate long-term sustainability, which would result a never-ending cycle where companies continue to innovate their products in order to maintain their customer retention rates. For as long as customers are willing to buy their latest products, companies will always be innovating, and from this, an increased standard of living will be continuous.
Modern marketing has been re-tailored in order to respond more effectively to consumer demand. This change in marketing dynamics has allowed businesses to compete, which has given consumers a much larger amount of power in the marketplace. This power has created a major shift in the political landscape by giving the public a voice to express their views and demands.
As right-wing activists, how do we use this scenario to our advantage? Marketing serves as an outlet for ideas to be exposed. In today’s environment, we have opportunity in the palms of our hands if we are willing to effectively organize. Marketing has now been oriented towards populist movements. We’d better hop on the bus and win the hearts of the majority so that businesses remain on our side and ensure we don’t lose our marketing share to the Left.