“The customer is always right” is a long-held principle in the world of retail. The entire concept of marketing is built around the notion of meeting the needs of consumers, including researching their preferences and building brand loyalty. In other words, the traditional focus of retail has been on catering to the needs and wants of a particular customer base.
Not anymore, though. Now, it seems a growing contingent of corporate crusaders is focused less on creating, designing, and advertising products to meet buyer demand — with the end goal of profitability — and more focused on signaling virtue and shaping societal attitudes. Marketing 101 has become Messaging 101 — customer preferences be damned.
To what end? That approach seems counterintuitive if the ultimate goal is profit. But that’s only if you look at it through the lens of consumer demand being the driver. More and more, the driver is investor agenda – and it’s an agenda that seemingly prioritizes woke capital over monetary capital.
Perhaps the concept of social-ism is devouring capitalism – just like the proverbial elephant: one bite at a time.
And in this new age, it’s no longer about the customer being right, or even cautioning the buyer to beware. Rather, the new paradigm is “Buyer, Be Woke.”