Posted by: in News on Feb 02, 2011
In her book No Logo, Naomi Klein talks about consumer culture, branding and the logic of capitalism. In this regard she refers to us, the actors within the capitalist system. Her judgment is a dichotomy between a positive image of more sophisticated and better informed individuals and on the other hand, an overtly negative picture of mindless consumers who buy just for the sake of it. Leaving her personal views behind, Klein has a point, stating that innovative technological developments transform the 21st century buyer and therefore, the entire world.
Not only on an individual level, but entire companies, state institutions and other organizations base their choices on information about a globally available range of products, services and offers. The modern buyer, be it of food, stocks or business processes, can contemporarily use the internet as information medium in order to make well-educated choices. The internet can be regarded as an entrance gate to most of the products existent on the global market. Nothing seems to be impossible and greater choice seems to be accompanied by lower prices that are under tough competition.
Buyers get more sophisticated and can afford to demand better values to lower prices. In case, a new iPhone is too expensive in Europe, why not getting it cheaper from the US? In case in-house service production is very costly in the US, why not use low-cost destinations such as China or India to develop it for your business? All these options seem to make great distances and time differences disappear. Imagine you are the head of a company and decide to get some work done by an offshore development company. You can easily go online and do capacious research on a potential provider, contact him and negotiate about lower prices. E-mail, Skype, Facebook and co. guarantee easy contact opportunities and as fast as you can say the word ‘outsourcing’, a company from the other side of the world handles parts of your business processes.
This sounds great at first because the power lies in choice, in fair market competition and a capitalist system that principally allows everybody to be successful if he just works hard enough. Well, on the one hand this is fair enough but we need to be careful as it is not always that simple. What about buzzwords such as exploitation, loss of loyalty, the digital divide and more issues that should not be overlooked? Global capitalism is the dominant logic most of us adopted without dispute. Now it is time to remember that all of its practices, be it manufacturing, offshore outsourcing or resource trading, need to be conducted under the umbrella of social responsibility and fairness.