At this time of year, the streets are lined with Christmas decorations, coloured lights and illuminated fir trees. The atmosphere projected is one of a welcoming air of joy and warmth. People are rushing about from shop-to-shop, with a cluster of bags in one hand and the other with a folded sheet of paper representing indexed lists of presents. At the cashiers desk some shoppers may place a limited price tag on what they are prepared to spend on their presents, others may decide on suitability regardless of price. However, bargain hunting should not be knocked.
In the field of marketing management, the acronym AIDA is suggested to promote product sales. AIDA stands for: Awareness, Interest, Desire and then Action. This assumed human behaviour is also suggested as a driver for impulse buys. How many times has your mind signalled you to make a purchase on a product you do not really need or want? Retailers can also be too clever for their own good by placing products in particular shelf positions. For example, exploiting both reach and line of sight human traits.
I recently read about some purchases being made by a king of poverty and disease struck country. I wondered what criteria he was applying before buying presents or luxury items for himself. One of his purchases is the Maybach car It includes an integrated television, DVD player, 21-speaker surround-sound system, fridge, cordless telephone and sterling silver champagne flutes. He is also reported to have 11 wives and 2 fiancees. In addition, his particular country has nearly 40% of adults diagnosed as HIV positive. In recent years, he has asked parliament for $15m to build a palace for each of his spouses and $45m to buy a jet. NB Street protests led to him abandoning the plans to buy a luxury jet. Given a rise in income or receiving a financial bonus, our selection criteria and capacity to spend will inevitably rises. The question is to what level and is it controllable? When spending becomes uncontrollable or without purpose, the person doing the spending can be branded as a Spendthrift – One who spends money profusely or improvidently; a prodigal; one who lavishes or wastes their estate. One argument suggests that if you are a rich successful businessperson, lottery winner or Oil tycoon, you have a disposable amount to spend on yourself as your Spending power has just leaped. This is not to imply that those with riches (£$) do not assist or contribute to charity organisations. Instead, maybe their (rich folks) reality of worth moves into a different dimension. Establishing a form of personal tax saving world funds could be one way of balancing our need to spend and delivering vital essential needs of the many. We have to also consider responsible spending by developing countries. Should we allow these (developing) countries a free reign on spending policy or strive for charities to work with governments to establish intra-country funds. What we do need is a sense of sincerity, empathy and recognition that although everyone wants to survive and enjoy life, unfortunately, basic needs in the form of clean water, education and health care are too far behind in many countries. We should all aim to help to fix these issues through an acceptance that we are a world family. Giving the gift of survival should be at the top of all of our luxury item list.