Consumer Power

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

You have the power. You have all the power.

We, as consumers, are the dictator of the economy. We determine what flops, what trends, and what becomes fashionable. We possess 'buying power'. That buying power dictates how businesses react.

For the first example, let's get autonomous. When I was in Vegas this past year, I was offered the option to have a driverless car. I quickly opted out of Uber and chose Lyft instead. If EVERYONE does the same then Uber will realize that is not the wave of the future. They are forced to adapt to what we actually want. While I'm slightly terrified getting in a driverless car, a part of me knows that in most cases, it is a safer ride. I rejected the idea because those jobs are important to people - and I like tipping them.

Another example, is that 3D televisions have long been around even before I was born. When I was five years old I went to a friend of the family's house and he had a projector with the 3D glasses. I watched Lethal Weapon in 3D in the late 80's. The technology has been around since the 1920's. We never adapted to it. You can get a 3D TV right now for a few hundred bucks. I think for now, we've seen the end of the 3D TV but the younger generations may have a different outlook.

The final example is when McDonald's was suffering because culture was dictating eating healthy. After the rapid expansion of the internet in the late 90's, their business took a hit because they had no 'healthy' options. They were also blamed for the ongoing obesity in America. It was a public relations disaster. Then in the early 2000's they introduced the salad. They were forced into this decision because they were losing money.

There are plenty of examples to prove this point: If you don't like the way a business is conducting their operation: DON'T BUY THEIR PRODUCT.

For example, if it upset you that Ruth's Chris took the PPP loan from the government and still furloughed its employees, then stop going to eat there.

The airline workers are also subject to being furloughed Oct. 1st. That's in the agreement for the PPP that they took. If you don't like that Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, yet he is adamantly blocking his Whole Foods workers from unionizing. Bezos suggested the employees to "donate" paid time off to co-workers facing medical emergencies. If that infuriates you, then stop spending your money to eat at Ruth's Chris (spoiler - the cost isn't worth the experience). Pretty much every airline in the US took the bailout money, we will see which ones use that money to buy their own stocks and pay upper management and still furlough employees. And my goodness, there are so many other options than to buy from Amazon or Whole Foods. Target offers 2-day shipping (Wal-Mart offers 1-day but I don't like the way they treat their employees so I willingly pay a little more and shop at Target). Trader Joes is a fantastic option (and cheaper) than Whole Foods. Sprouts is another option. Or even better is to go to your local Farmer's Market.

Before you buy from a brand, look at their culture. View their actions and beliefs on environment, health, safety, human rights, and philanthropy. If you don't agree with it, be willing to pay a little more money to develop the shift. For example, if we ALL decided to shop 'organic', then those foods that we select without preservatives naturally become cheaper.

Lesson: Who you give your money to - you give power. As consumers we hold the power! Consumers need to be more diligent and responsible in our selections. Invest in the premier sustainable companies in which you think should hold the power. Then watch the paradigm shift.

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