The Power Of Consumerism And Socio-Economic Behavioural Change

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Matshidiso Madikoane-Mbele, Chief Executive Officer at Kwambele Social Marketing.

Matshidiso Madikoane-Mbele, Chief Executive Officer at Kwambele Social Marketing, mentions that social media has become an undeniable influence in the way content centred around products and services is being consumed.

Moreover, it has provided a podium for individuals and collectives to voice out, regardless of which corner of the world they come from. This voice commands change and when enough people band together to speak as one its results are astonishing, to say the least, with an impact that is far-reaching. 

The call to action is upon consumers and employees alike to take that social intercom and use it to speak up. They must call out and hold their organisations and employers accountable to their own mission. An empowered person is most likely to make decisions that affect them and the people around them positively. We need to prioritise and in a sense be woke in every sphere of our lives, including where we spend our money. 

According to BusinessTech, a survey published by World Wide Worx, and commissioned by TymeBank, found that ‘the most common goal, especially for those under 35, is to save up for a car (19%) and to study or learn a new skill (19%)’. One in 10 intend to start or grow a business and 9% want to buy or renovate a home. Which brings me to this point: we are living in an era where companies cannot turn a blind eye to broader social issues. These under 35’s should be looking out for brands that support youth development.

I was in one of the supermarkets with my younger son, and at checkout I realised we’d forgotten a loaf of bread. My son quickly ran and grabbed us a loaf and as I passed it on to the cashier to scan, I noticed on the packaging that the brand had a label which read ‘1 million loaves, every year we donate through various national feeding schemes and soup kitchens’. This feeds 5 million little tummies in schools around the country every day. Being a mother firstly and a businesswoman whose business is founded on the bedrock of making a difference that matters – I was so moved by this. I thought ‘here’s a brand that makes it matter and it’s simply through me buying their loaf of bread and this has enabled them to contribute to feeding 5 million little children every day’.

The label on that packaging got me thinking about the power of consumerism and socio-economic behavioural change and what that meant in the dawn of an ever-evolving fast-paced digital era. 

This is an exciting time for consumers, as we are able to hold brands accountable and, in the process, make them reconsider their branding strategies and furthermore the duty they have to help empower the communities that surround them. As a loyal customer to a brand, I would like to know that the brand and I share the same values and beliefs, be it inclusivity or partaking in sustainability etc.

This helps to reassure me that I have also aided in helping a cause that I believe in. I personally believe that brands should make this visible and known to me in their packaging. This is essential to not only bringing awareness but also serving as a reminder to consumers, that we also need to play our part.

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