Consumer

Consumer

Overview
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or household
Household
The household is "the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonymous with family"....

s that use goods generated within the economy
Economic system
An economic system is the combination of the various agencies, entities that provide the economic structure that defines the social community. These agencies are joined by lines of trade and exchange along which goods, money etc. are continuously flowing. An example of such a system for a closed...

. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.

The "consumer" is the one who consumes the goods and services produced. As such, consumers plays a vital role in the economic system of a nation because in the absence of the effective demand that emanates from them, the economy virtually collapses.
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Encyclopedia
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or household
Household
The household is "the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonymous with family"....

s that use goods generated within the economy
Economic system
An economic system is the combination of the various agencies, entities that provide the economic structure that defines the social community. These agencies are joined by lines of trade and exchange along which goods, money etc. are continuously flowing. An example of such a system for a closed...

. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.

Economics and marketing


The "consumer" is the one who consumes the goods and services produced. As such, consumers plays a vital role in the economic system of a nation because in the absence of the effective demand that emanates from them, the economy virtually collapses. Mahatma Gandhi said a customer is the most important visitor in our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are on him. He is not an interruption to our work, he is the purpose of it.

Typically when business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

 people and economists talk of consumers they are talking about person as consumer, an aggregated commodity
Commodity
In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Economic commodities comprise goods and services....

 item with little individuality other than that expressed in the buy/not-buy decision. However there is a trend in marketing
Marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

 to individualize the concept. Instead of generating broad demographic profile
Demographic profile
A demographic or demographic profile is a term used in marketing and broadcasting, to describe a demographic grouping or a market segment...

s and psycho-graphic profiles
Psychographic
In the fields of marketing, demographics, opinion research, and social research in general, psychographic variables are any attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. They are also called IAO variables...

 of market segment
Market segment
Market segmentation is a concept in economics and marketing. A market segment is a sub-set of a market made up of people or organizations with one or more characteristics that cause them to demand similar product and/or services based on qualities of those products such as price or function...

s, marketers have started to engage in personalized marketing
Personalized marketing
Personalized marketing is an extreme form of product differentiation. Whereas product differentiation tries to differentiate a product from competing ones, personalization tries to make a unique product offering for each customer.-Internet marketing:Personalized marketing had been most practical...

, permission marketing
Permission marketing
Permission marketing is a term popularized by Seth Godin used in marketing in general and e-marketing specifically. The undesirable opposite of permission marketing is interruption marketing. Marketers obtain permission before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process. For example, they...

, and mass customization
Mass customization
Mass customization, in marketing, manufacturing, call centres and management, is the use of flexible computer-aided manufacturing systems to produce custom output...

.

There is increasing backlash from the public over use of the label "consumer" rather than "customer", with many finding it offensive and derogatory.

In law and politics


The law primarily uses the notion of "consumer" in relation to consumer protection
Consumer protection
Consumer protection laws designed to ensure fair trade competition and the free flow of truthful information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors and may provide additional...

 laws, and the definition of consumer is often restricted to living persons (i.e. not corporations or businesses) and excludes commercial users. A typical legal rationale for protecting the consumer is based on the notion of policing market failures and inefficiencies, such as inequalities of bargaining power between a consumer and a business. As of all potential voters are also consumers, consumer protection takes on a clear political significance.

Concern over the interests of consumers has also spawned much activism, as well as incorporation of consumer education into school curricula. There are also various non-profit publications, such as Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is an American magazine published monthly by Consumers Union since 1936. It publishes reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from its in-house testing laboratory. It also publishes cleaning and general buying guides...

and Choice Magazine
Choice magazine
CHOICE Magazine is a publication of the Australian Consumers' Association, a non-profit organisation founded in 1959 to research and advocate on behalf of Australian consumers. The organisation trades as CHOICE and is similar to Consumer Reports in the United States...

, dedicated to assist in consumer education and decision making, and Consumer Direct
Consumer Direct
Consumer Direct is a Government-funded call centre providing basic consumer advice in the United Kingdom. Information is also provided on their website ....

in the UK.

In India, the Consumer Protection Act 1986 clearly differentiates a consumer as consuming a commodity or service either for his personal domestic use or to earn his livelihood. Only consumers are protected as per this act and any person, entity or organization purchasing a commodity for commercial reasons are exempted from any benefits of this act.
Furthermore, Indian case law has quite a few references on how to distinguish a consumer from a customer.

In intelligence studies


Within intelligence studies, the concept of "consumer" refers to the political staff consuming and requesting intelligence.

See also


  • Alpha consumer
    Alpha consumer
    An Alpha Consumer is someone that plays a key role in connecting with the concept behind a product, then adopting that product, and finally validating it for the rest of society...

  • Consumer debt
    Consumer debt
    In economics, consumer debt is outstanding debt of consumers, as opposed to businesses or governments. In macroeconomic terms, it is debt which is used to fund consumption rather than investment...

  • Consumer leverage ratio
    Consumer leverage ratio
    Consumer Leverage Ratio is a term popularized by William Jarvis and Dr. Ian C MacMillan in a series of articles in the Harvard Business Review and refers to the ratio of total household debt, as reported by the Federal Reserve System to disposable personal income, as reported by the US Department...

  • Consumer theory
    Consumer theory
    Consumer choice is a theory of microeconomics that relates preferences for consumption goods and services to consumption expenditures and ultimately to consumer demand curves. The link between personal preferences, consumption, and the demand curve is one of the most closely studied relations in...

  • Consumerism
    Consumerism
    Consumerism is a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts. The term is often associated with criticisms of consumption starting with Thorstein Veblen...

  • Consumers' cooperative
    Consumers' cooperative
    Consumer cooperatives are enterprises owned by consumers and managed democratically which aim at fulfilling the needs and aspirations of their members. They operate within the market system, independently of the state, as a form of mutual aid, oriented toward service rather than pecuniary profit...

  • ConsumerSearch
    ConsumerSearch
    ConsumerSearch is an English-language search engine for consumer product reviews, plus a database of reports on consumer products and services, published and updated only online. ConsumerSearch does not review products and services directly, nor does the site publish reviews from users...

  • Consumption
    Consumption (economics)
    Consumption is a common concept in economics, and gives rise to derived concepts such as consumer debt. Generally, consumption is defined in part by comparison to production. But the precise definition can vary because different schools of economists define production quite differently...

  • Coolhunting
    Coolhunting
    Coolhunting is a term coined in the early 1990s referring to a new breed of marketing professionals, called coolhunters. It is their job to make observations and predictions in changes of new or existing cultural trends...

  • Mass customization
    Mass customization
    Mass customization, in marketing, manufacturing, call centres and management, is the use of flexible computer-aided manufacturing systems to produce custom output...

  • Mental health consumer
    Mental health consumer
    A mental health consumer is a person who is under treatment for a psychiatric illness or disorder. The term was coined by people who use mental health services in an attempt to empower those with mental health issues, usually considered a marginalized segment of society...

  • Consumer reporting agency
  • Consumer protection
    Consumer protection
    Consumer protection laws designed to ensure fair trade competition and the free flow of truthful information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors and may provide additional...

  • Consumer organization
    Consumer organization
    Consumer organizations are advocacy groups that seek to protect people from corporate abuse like unsafe products, predatory lending, false advertising, astroturfing and pollution.Consumer organizations may operate via protests, campaigning or lobbying...

  • Consumer Direct
    Consumer Direct
    Consumer Direct is a Government-funded call centre providing basic consumer advice in the United Kingdom. Information is also provided on their website ....

  • National Consumer Agency
    National consumer agency
    The National Consumer Agency is a statutory body that defends consumer interests in the Republic of Ireland.- Background :The NCA's origins can be traced to the setting up of the Consumer Strategy Group in March 2004....

     (NCA)
  • Informed consumer
    Informed consumer
    The concept of the informed consumer is a fundamental one in the law of the European Union. Since the general Resolution of 1975, one of the primary objectives of the European Community, and then the European Union, has been the provision of information to consumers...

  • Consumer forum


External links