What is consumerism? Understand what it really is, its types and consequences – WAU

Knowing how consumers base their purchase decision making is critical for business owners, marketing and advertising professionals and others. But, to understand the buying process, it is necessary to know what consumerism is. At first, the term can be dissociated from the majority form of consumption of a small company, […]

Knowing how consumers base their purchase decision making is critical for business owners, marketing and advertising professionals and others.

But, to understand the buying process, it is necessary to know what consumerism is. At first, the term can be dissociated from the majority form of consumption of a small company, for example.

However, as members of the consumer society, all individuals and companies are impacted by the effects of consumption and its most rampant form, consumerism.

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What is consumerism?

Initially, it is necessary to make a distinction between consumption and consumerism.

The first is related to an inherent human need as a social being. That is: we even consume for survival.

Consumerism, in turn, is characterized by an excess purchase and, often, of products or services that are not necessary for the person. The concept is also related to unconscious and alienated ways of buying, without assessing the social and environmental impact.

It is also possible that consumerism will evolve, in some people, to a clinical condition, such as Diogenes syndrome. In this situation, the individual is so attached to the material goods acquired that he cannot stop buying or disposing of old products.

Marketing and publicity, added to the patterns broadcast in the media, were, for a long time, responsible for this intensification of consumption. However, professionals in the field have shown that new paths are possible, including these professions in campaigns for more ethical and conscious consumption.

How does consumerism impact consumer behavior?

For professionals who deal directly with the creation of products and services, with the dissemination and encouragement of new consumption trends, knowing the impacts of consumerism on human behavior is essential.

Consumerism is understood as an uncritical purchase. Thus, people who buy compulsively do not analyze the social and personal consequences of the purchase. In cases of “oneomania”, the person gets to make debts that he cannot pay due to the pathology related to excessive consumption.

But just as consumerism has reached worrying levels, movements to resist this trend have also emerged. Currently, they directly impact consumer behavior.

Programmed obsolescence, for example, which consists of selling products designed to have a short life cycle, has been combated by consumers and marketers. The defense is that there are fewer products, but with more quality.

Consumption also has social consequences. While nations are well evaluated for their individual purchasing capacity, due to the growth of the economy generated by consumption, many people experience depression and anxiety due to these factors.

One of the main aspects related to consumerism is the search for happiness through things, which generates frustrations and new purchase demands. The need to adapt to social standards also creates negative conditions for clinical conditions, such as depression.

All of these aspects must be considered by professionals who wish to sell more. Currently, there is talk of selling better, and perhaps that is the future of marketing.

What are the types of consumerism?

In order to be able to identify the consumer behavior in the company’s area of ​​operation, it is important to know the different types of purchase decision making. There are 4:

  • routine shopping: they are low-value goods that are bought with certain periodicity and in which consumers do not spend as much time to make a decision. These are market items, for example;
  • limited value purchases: acquisitions made less frequently and which involve higher values ​​and which can result in losses if the decision is bad. Consumers will research the product and the company. Examples are purchases of cell phones and durable goods;
  • high value purchases: they are goods with high added value, such as houses, cars, systems etc. In such cases, all information will be evaluated rationally, but psychological factors are expected to influence the purchase;
  • impulse buying: the type of consumer buying. They are not planned purchases and can range from cheap items, such as chocolate, to more expensive goods.

In addition to the types of consumption, there are some trends that are increasingly consolidated, especially among new consumers.

What are the trends in the area?

So that it is possible to remain relevant for customers, differentiate themselves from competitors and insert these new features in corporate identity of the company – emphasizing ethical values ​​that are important to consumers – it is necessary to know which trends have influenced the purchase decision.


O lowsumerism it consists in questioning excessive consumption and raising awareness about the processes of creation, production and distribution of products.

For example: when buying a shirt, the consumer can question the material used in the manufacture, the option for the print in addition to the aesthetic issue, the production process and other social issues related to the product.

Also related to lowsumerism is to identify if that product is necessary and will add something to the person’s life. In order to be able to combat unrestrained consumption, there must be awareness in each purchase made.

Therefore, when carrying out advertising campaigns, developing new products, improving existing ones and relate to the customer, all of these issues must be considered.

For example: maintaining a supplier accused of using slave labor can generate boycotts of customers, alienate consumers and make it difficult to place new products on the market.

Ethical consumption

Ethical consumption, also known as sustainable consumption, is more related to the environmental impacts generated by brands.

In addition to encouraging conscious consumption that is limited to what is necessary, this type of practice also questions the use of transgenics and pesticides, the use of animals in production processes, the extremely short product life cycle, among other practices that generate environmental problems. .

In this sense, the company can choose recyclable packaging for products and use the green marketing for disclosure, showing that it is committed to environmental values.

Understanding the new consumer behaviors is crucial for companies to become more relevant to consumers and improve the relationship with customers.

Understanding consumerism, lowsumerism and ethical consumption are relevant issues for a good market positioning.

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