IS LIQUID SOCIETY LIQUEFYING MARKETING?
Liquid society is the formula that Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman popularized to describe the contemporary world, where personal experiences and interpersonal relationships are typified by increasing levels of uncertainty, volatility and fluidity. The recent economic recession and related booming of social inequality has made clear that liquid society has deeply redefined our sense of belonging and shared beliefs about the future.
Of course, all these events have had a tremendous impact on reshaping consumers' habits, preferences and aspirations. Longtail, low-cost and e-commerce are just the most striking examples of the increasing fragmentation and delocalization of shopping strategies and purchase decisions.
Liquid society describes the lack of reference points and the loss of a shared social identity that characterized the late capitalist society, in which the flow of desires became more and more voracious and omnivorous. Consumption as a fragile and temporary substitute for previous social values made everything shining, mesmeric and iconic, but also easily revocable, outdated, and ephemeral.
Modern marketing was designed to deal with that model of roaring capitalism, but today we face a completely different landscape, where increasing expectations of easy profits look like a fading vestige of the past.
It seems urgent to understand what liquid society rejects from the traditional marketing approach.
We stay liquid, orphans of stable frameworks and beliefs (impossible to imagine returning to our once assured past , everything is changing and passing by at a higher and higher speed), but the dynamics of desire have also jammed, due to the recession.
Is liquid society therefore liquefying marketing too?