In other words, it seeks to answer the question- why are consumers inclined to purchase a particular product? An intricate look into this will reveal that most research in this area deals with goods of ostentation otherwise termed as luxurious goods. Such goods are perceived to be a status symbol. For instance, consumers tend to buy designer labels smply because of the message such clothing conveys. As earlier stated, the concept of new consumerism relies heavily on its marketing and targeting a particular group of consumers.
Part of the Americsn culture has been the need to "keep up". Juliet Schor coined the term "competitive consumption" to refer to the idea that spending is mostly driven by a certain need to compare or be competitive. Naturally, individuals identify themselves with a certain social group and hey therefore try to keep up with the norms of this group. Individuals are not contented with having the basic. The point reference is slowly but surely becoming the lifestyles of the upper middle class and the rich. Mere comfort is almost deemed to amount to poverty as people aspire to attain a luxurious life. A good example here would be in reference to technology. In America, smart phones sales are at an all time high simply because there is a “craze” that compels one to need an i phone 5 whilst he has an i phone 4 which will basically serve the same purpose. New technological gadgets have become a must have.
Unfortunately, this culture of “upscale emulation” will be very difficult to kill because there is a generation who have been brought up in it and it is the only thing they know. Therefore, as they grow up, they also pass it on to their kids. Very many individuals are living on the premise of- fake it till you make it. Which basically means, if you don’t have it, act like you do have it, till you actually have it.
In the American society today, a lot