Monday 26 December 2011

When people run behind Things, they buy stuff they do not Need

Written by Anil Singh

When people run behind Things, they buy stuff they do not Need!

This thought came to my mind, while watching the video (below), showing Shoppers in London waiting outside a store for holiday sales on Boxing Day (the next day to Christmas, that is December 26 is called Boxing Day). As soon as the security opens the glass doors, adults start running like school kids to grab the best limited time discount on their wished item. You watch the video first, then let i make the point:

To me all these people, running their way to their destined store shelf; are buying stuff just for the sake of buying. And in most cases, they don't require it.

And thrusting a product on to the hands of people not requiring it; is the beauty of consumerism and industrial production invented and proliferated US businesses (US mindset will be better).

USA, at the peak of consumerism pyramid, specializes in selling any amounts of things, it manufactures. And, by manufacturing "any amounts of things", means making smallest or Biggest, important or trivial, food or clothing, on an industrial scale.

Courtesy this industrial production(assembly lined or highly streamlined production), US businesses are always in a dire need of new and ever expanding markets. This industrial production, driven solely by the urge to manufacture more and more, keeps on devising newer and more innovative means to make people buy.

In simple, if a US fast food maker ups its hamburger production to three hamburgers per adult a week; then it will try all tactics to make sure, an adult munches on three or more every week.

Black Friday Sales (the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States), Boxing Day Sales are just part of the devises US businesses use to thrust these manufactured items on to the hands of consumers.

Call it irony, but US businesses have a great skill to make people run for its products, irrespective of whether they need it or not, any where in the world they (businesses) choose to set up their shops. That apart, such is the appeal of this US model, that businesses all over the world, emulate it with ease (No wonder America taught the world Copycat Marketing 101).

So whether it's Philippines or UK, India or China -- when US businesses set up their shop, or indigenous businesses copycat the US model (Keep manufacturing fast and more; if you can sell it three times to a single consumer); people of that country start queing outside stores.

Everyone stops thinking whether, he/she needs the item, even if it's sold at half the price.

India up to now, followed a very balanced approach to consumerism. Indian tradition (religious and non-religious literature; written and non-written) kept on preaching "restraint on buying". Parents used to advice their children, the value of money from very early, and cautioned them on wasting it for things, not necessary.

But post liberalization (1991), and US way of doing things becoming more visible; Indians are also seen falling to the lure. They are also talking gadgets and hoarding things not really needed. Soon they will be seen, waiting outside stores for bargains as well.

But better if they (Indian consumers) not emulate their US counterparts. As, if one gets into American way of life -- No matter how much one hoards or eats; he/she will never be satisfied.Pockets and houses will become cluttered with things; and waistlines will keep on expanding; but contentment will not be there. And the biggest drawback is -- Once the Amrerican way of life ingrains in an individual; it is hard to get rid off. Take this piece of data in support:

Black Friday sales this year increased 6.6 percent to the largest amount ever; as U.S. consumers shrugged off 9 percent unemployment and went shopping.

The above piece of data is testimony of American way of Life: No matter what people will buy. Not even an economic downturn can stop them.

The above analysis, doesn't say all Americans are neck deep into lures of buying; and many people in US are acting restraint on their buying. But still, for anyone into a habit, acting restraint is difficult.

Indians are seen to be cautious with their money. Thousands of years of Indian tradition, has taught them the dire consequences of mindless following of new ideas and concepts. So lets hope that, no matter what lures are lined up for them, in the form of discounts and novelty, they will keep following the right path -- the middle path, as Buddha says neither too frugal nor too lavish.

A THING TO TRY: It's believed that, Abraham Lincoln, used to write letters to his adversaries. These letters were vitriolic most of the times. To know for sure, whether a particular letter is fit to be sent; Lincoln used to keep a letter for three days in his writing Desk's drawer. After three days, if he still felt posting the letter, he posts it the letter box. If he didn't, then the letter was teared to pieces and graced the Dust Bin.

You can apply the same 3 Day formula to your prospective buying a well. The day you feel the great urge to buy something;  decide to buy it three days later. And you will find that, during these three days; you will get a fair idea of whether you need the thing or not.]

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