September 26, 2010
The Future Of Consumerism
It used to be about ownership. The market demanded clothes and shoes, bread to eat, and houses to live in. Because they needed these things. And companies provided these things.
Now that everyone has these things already (at least in the Western world), the game has changed.
Now it’s all about utility.
Demand is no longer for things that are necessary, demand is for things that help accomplish tasks. When the task is complete, things are no longer useful. So we discard them.
Before, this phenomenon was illustrated by thrift shops, flea markets, or second hand shops. Recently, companies and products like Redbox, Pandora, and even YouTube have brought this use-it-and-lose-it philosophy to the entertainment sphere. More recently, SaaS.
I’m suspecting that this utility paradigm is about to creep into other sectors of consumer demand. Consumers don’t care about ownership any more.
We just want the job done.