With the growing industry of ethics consumption and environmental friendly products, the marketing industry has radically changed its traditional system of approaching their consumers. Indeed their marketing strategies are much more customer driven as the authority of consumer plays nowadays a major role in our post modern society. In fact, the role of the consumer has been profoundly modified over the last years shifting from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, from passive to active. Thus firms have to consider this new alleged authority from the consumer described as consumer empowerment, and thereby to adapt their strategy accordingly. But what do we understand exactly by the concept of customer empowerment and how can we explain this new emerging shift in the consumer behaviour? Finally what are the effects of this consumer empowerment both on the marketing strategies followed by the firms and on the decision-making of the consumers?
[...] As a result consumer empowerment is a sign of this change in our post-modern society where consumers could seek for more subjective consumption based on hedonic target or on risk avoidance. However this concept of consumer empowerment reveals to be more a theoretical scheme for explaining how other factors interact together. As a matter of fact, consumer empowerment is heavily interdependent with other factors such as the impact of our digital economy, the globalisation and the changing pattern of traditional relationship. [...]
[...] As a matter of fact, before this radical change we would rather name a spectator for the culture activity, students for the education arena From now on, we are all consumers no matter activity it concerns and this contributes to the reinforcement of the changing pattern between consumers and business. Effects of empowerment on consumer behaviour 6. Impact on the consumer decision model The consumer empowerment concept modifies the traditional consumer decision process model on four stages: the need of recognition, the search for evaluation and evaluation of alternatives, purchase and at last on post- consumption evaluation. [...]
[...] In other words the concept of consumer empowerment results in what the economist Burton-Jones would name almost-perfect” and/ or customer market. Indeed the companies have to face this major shift in the consumer behaviour by adapting some strategies enabling them to target even more accurately the customer needs and wants. Therefore it is a significant challenge for companies to the extent that they need to take into account this new approach to consumption: an importance attached to consumer value by providing further access, content, education and commerce (Turnquist, 2004) 2. [...]
[...] Similarly in case of satisfaction, marketers have developed strong Customer Relationship Management (CRM) ensuring a feedback to the company or by establishing loyalty and advocacy More than the authority of the consumer, an interaction between marketers and consumers Finally we can question the validity of such sovereignty of consumers on marketers as we have seen in the former paragraph that marketers have also taken the benefit of this consumer empowerment and has also adapted to this consumption changes Whereas Jean Baudrillard asserts the illusion of consumers of acting freely in their consumption, Rasmawamy develops the idea of an on-going process between firms and consumers. [...]
[...] Thus by comparison to this example, the consumer empowerment is correlated to the active implication of consumers who would have a better control on the consumption by forcing companies to sell more appropriate products and service suited to their needs. The effect of pre-launch research trials give research participants a say in what happens triggering loyalty, goodwill and advocacy. Factors influencing the growth of consumer empowerment 3. Impact of technological development The technological development is one of the main factors which have vastly contributed to the emergence of this consumer empowerment. [...]
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