What is Consumer Movement? Meaning
Consumer Movement, consumer is regarded as King in modern marketing. In a progressive market economy, the concept of consumer is given topmost importance, and every attempt is made to promote consumer satisfaction. However, this sovereignty of the consumer is only theoretical. In practice, he is not given any such importance. Consumers are ignored in general. They are exploited and cheated.
Consumer Movement, consumers unite together for protecting their own interests. It is a peaceful and democratic movement of for self-protection against their exploitation. Consumer movement is also referred to as consumerism. It is the movement of the consumers, by the consumers and for the consumers to safeguard and to promote their interest. The consumer movement was initially started in America followed by England and other European countries. In U.S.A., the consumer movement was started in 1920, though it is yet to gain tremendous momentum. Every year, 15th March is celebrated as Consumer Day worldwide.
Definition of Consumer Movement
According to Philip Kotler and G. Armstrong, Consumer Movement is defined as below:
"Consumerism is an organized movement of citizens and Government to impose the rights and powers of buyers in relation to sellers".
According to Cravens and Hills, Consumer Movement is defined as below:
"Consumerism is a social force within the environment designed to aid and protect the consumer by exerting legal, moral and economic pressure on business".
Features of Consumer Movement
Features of consumer movement are as follows:
- Voluntary Movement
- Democratic Movement
- Comprehensive Movement
- Protection of Rights
- Prevention of Malpractices
- Unity Among Consumer
- Enforcing Consumer Right
- Seller beware
- Prime Objectives
Discuss each feature of consumer movement one by one.
1. Voluntary Movement
Consumer Movement is a voluntary and collective movement of consumers. It is a movement of the consumers, by the consumers and for the consumers. A group of active consumers come forward, forms a union and fight for the well-being of the community. It is a non-political, non-religious organization of consumers started to promote and protect interest of consumers.
2. Democratic Movement
Consumer Movement is a movement of the consumers, by the consumers and for the consumers. It mainly aims at consumer protection, education, and welfare by adopting peaceful methods.
3. Comprehensive Movement
Consumer Movement is not restricted to purchase of goods and services by the consumers. It also encompasses the public utilities and service like transport and communication, banking medical and health. It is concerned with the quest of the consumers to achieve a best standard of living and a better quality of life.
4. Protection of Rights
Consumer Movement has the objective to make the business community and government to guarantee and enforce the legitimate rights of consumers.
5. Prevention of Malpractices
Consumer Movement has the objective is to prevent unethical practices within the business community, such as artificial scarcity, adulteration, black marketing, profiteering, etc.
6. Unity Among Consumer
Consumer movement aims at creating awareness and unity among consumers and thereby to take group actions on issues like, consumer laws, supply of information about marketing malpractices, deceptive and restrictive trade practices.
7. Enforcing Consumer Right
Consumer Movement aims at enforcing four basic rights of consumers are Right to Safety, Right to be informed, Right to choose and Right to Redress.
8. Seller beware
Before the commencement of the consumer movement, goods were sold on the assumption, Let the buyer beware. Every buyer was required to inspect the goods. Now the “seller beware” has become the prime principle. This is due to growth of consumer movement. The seller is required to give fair treatment to the consumers.
9. Prime Objectives
Consumer Movement prime objective is to ensure safety, security and welfare of the consumer.