This study defines consumerism and the reasons for its growing trend globally. The objectives of the research are to establish the implications of growing consumerism on the economy and global business trends. This research focuses on the reasons why the poor are not necessarily the problem facing the economy, but rather the increasing consumption by the wealthy. They are encouraged by the government to want more and thus putting the environment at risk. The study then focuses on the issues arising due to this increased consumerism. Techniques used to gather information involve secondary sources involving interviews with various business moguls, sampling data by interviewing the public as to why the consumption rates are increasing and the effects to the economy and environment as a whole.
Keywords: Consumerism and global trends
The Impact of Growing Consumerism on Global Business Trends
Introduction and Background
Consumerism is the frivolous, selfish and excessive purchasing of products in excess of one’s needs, which is visible from ancient times and was referred to as materialism. This topic is important to the world because previous research and criticism shows that increased consumption especially by the rich and developed countries poses a threat to economic resources and the environment. De-consumerism has cropped up to limit this growing consumerism since it is the major reason why carbon dioxide emissions are increasing in the world, proving that the developed countries are to blame for the deterioration of the environment.
Objectives of the Research
The general objective of this research is to outline the globalization trends that arise due to increased consumerism. Other specific objectives involve the reasons as to why consumerism increases and the steps that the business world and the current generation is doing to curb it from increasing further.
Technology is directly proportional to the increased consumerism in the world. The cost of information is becoming cheaper, and consumers are becoming more aware of what they deserve in the products they purchase and this has led them to demand for the best services possible. Businesses are thereby required to improve the quality of their products, lest they lose their customers to a more competitive counterpart.
In the health industry, technology has allowed patients to demand for the best healthcare services possible since they have the opportunity to choose from a pool of physicians, rather than having to follow instructions about who should serve them as was the case in the previous years.
This however is more prevalent in the developed world since they have the resources to demand for what they want. This increasing demand has led to demand for a luxurious and expensive lifestyle with economic resources being depleted to cater for lavish estates and recreational facilities for the rich. This increased demand leads to environmental degradation in the form of cutting down of trees, increased reliance on oil and fossil fuels due to demand for more cars and other forms of transport. These release emissions into the atmosphere causing climate change and increasing the rate of natural calamities.
The increased spending also leads to the growth of industries so to meet demand, with the manufacturing and shipping industries being the main profit makers especially for products with big brand names such as designer products, make-up, clothing and luxurious cars.
Methodology and Results
Study design/ Subjects
This study draws its insights from an article by Lena Corner entitled, “That was the moment I decided to destroy all my worldly possessions” and a TV documentary known as “2much2young”. These two sources show and portray people who value designer products so much that they spend their entire fortune on these products forgetting the necessities of life. This has become an obsession to the sense that some individuals believe that designer goods give them their identity.
Questionnaires will be employed in collecting data about University students’ shopaholic trends. Interviews are to be restricted within different age groups.
Research questions and Results
Some of the questions that are relevant to this study include, 1) What age groups are mostly affected by wasteful spending? 2) Why do brands affect people so much? 3) What is the effect of this demand on the market? 4) Does advertising play a big role or is buying influenced by peer pressure?
Results showed that most people were influenced by peer pressure and that the designer brands made them feel classy and gave them an identity above those who wore common things. This desire for a sense of importance has made the designer goods be valued at a high price making them only accessible to the rich. This increases the global prices for these products. However, preference was not only biased to age as different age-groups have different preferences they obsess about. Different types of cars, different types of clothing, housing, etc.
In China for example, the number of imports has increased making the biggest importers of products especially precious stones, luxurious cars and designer goods. China boasts of having a stable economy and a particularly large population. The rate at which shops are opening up in China only means that the increased consumerism affects the global business trends. China has the 2nd highest number of billionaires in the world and a fairly stable middle class which only means that they are on their way to becoming the world’s largest consumers and this will have a great impact on the shipping industries.
People will end up demanding more than they can produce and this might lead to inflation, balance of payment deficits etc. However, with Chinas growing economy, the increased imports will only mean that the shipping industries will open more branches in the east and carriers will crop up to be able to sustain the increasing demands
Conclusion/ Significance of the Research
The research focuses on customer satisfaction and the utility they should obtain from their products. It also focuses on improving the effectiveness of production and service provision in modern business while at the same time protecting the environment so that equilibrium is maintained to enable the economic resources to sustain the growing population. The research also addresses the issue of increased demand and its effects on global business trends that are either positive or negative. The idea is to ensure that equilibrium is established in order to maintain environmental and economic stability.
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