The study was done 20 years after the fall of the Berlin wall in the midst of a big economic crisis.
What does this mean for marketers?
Less pure capitalism means more solidarity. This should be reflected in a marketing campaign that hits the “zeitgeist”. Embedding social consciousness into marketing campaigns will provide goodwill towards a product or service. The purchase of a product or service should touch the consumer on an emotional level and create a feel good effect. In this case it will not be perceived as a product that is only making “them” rich.
Companies that engage in cause marketing and make a genuine effort to improve situations that their customers can relate to will have an edge over their competition.
In more environmental conscious target groups capitalism can also be associated with ruthless exploitation of our planet. In that case “going green” and clearly communicating can become a very important factor. Companies ignoring that trend could get punished for that,
I can also see a declining market for luxury goods. Of course there’ll always be a market for these high-end products. They are used to celebrate capitalism in its extreme form. But with a shift in sentiment it will be more challenging to show off. That 500k car, 25k Mink Fur or the 2k wine bottle will not be seen as something desirable by a growing population but rather as a decadent form of waste. This trend will hit certain areas much sooner than others.
Shifts in society are being reflected in consumer behavior. Marketers that want to stay ahead of the curve need to adjust to these changes in sentiment.
Check for yourself: How has your or your friends’ shopping behavior changed over the last 2-3 years?