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Prince Mashele on the EFF in South Africa

Prince Mashele on the EFF in South Africa

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    Are consumers actually human?

    We are so caught up in the name 'consumer' that we only see people through the lens of goods and services.
    123RF
    123RF

    A consumer is defined as a person who purchases goods and services for personal use. The big question is when those people are not purchasing goods and services then what are they up to? As we sometimes might forget that being a consumer is only one aspect of a person's life.

    Consumers are actually human beings, and in order for us to understand and be relevant and meaningful to their lives, we need to go beyond the consumer and understand the human being behind the consumer behaviour.

    People are driven by human instincts and behaviours that help bring meaning and purpose in their lives. One way to look at it is when people reflect back to the life they have lived, is it the products and services that define their lives or is it the relationships and purpose of a holistic life that's important to them?

    I suggest, we need to start looking at peoples lives holistically beyond just products and services. We need to understand a persons role in society, in their family and relationships before we even consider choosing products and services for them. Talk to them as people with feelings and emotions and not as robots conditioned by society to perceive the world in a way certain way.

    This will also help us respect peoples lives, cultures and beliefs. Giving us a guideline in terms of what to say and what not to say to certain ethnic groups, cultures and beliefs.

    As we can at times underestimate peoples intelligence when producing communication materials for them.

    People are human beings. There is more to a human beings than just demographics and income level. Aspirations are not sorely based on the products and services one consumes, that is just one piece of the pie.

    Let's start treating people as human beings rather than just boxing them in the consumer bracket alone. In that way we can be relevant not only in the supermarket store, but also in peoples lives, so that the brands we are building have a role in peoples lives. This is what a brand essence is and what brand values stand for, not the consumer but the human being behind that consumer.

    About Candice Simon

    Candice is the Editor & Trend Analyst for TrendER Insights. Passionate about analyzing the creative progression within the field of trend forecasting, journalism and editing. Website: www.trender.co.za.
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