Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blog 5: Lost In The Supermarket

Punk is something I have always been able to get behind. It started out simply as a type of music that got my blood pumping and made me want to move. Though it still does this to me, it has also become a way of thinking that I embrace. It is important to note that Punk does not have a single definition and that this makes it a very broad term. Punk to me is doing what you want to do despite what everyone tells you. It is near complete liberation for me. However, there are detractors of Punk. Some see it as a self-destructive, ignorant, and juvenile. I specifically cite many of the more classically trained  musicians I have encountered speaking ill of it and writing off punk rockers as terrible, sloppy musicians which could not be further from the truth for most, though there are exceptions. You may now be asking yourself  "What does this have to do with marketing?" Well I will tell you, but first there needs to be a history lesson!

Some would say this isn't strictly Punk, but this is
the perfect Punk record in my book.
When Punk initially took form in the mid-70's it was widely mistrusted. It was considered a big threat to the social structure of the UK during Margaret Thatcher's time as prime minister. As unruly and strange as it seemed, Punk gained a following and had increasing influence in the world. However, as quickly as Punk gained popularity it was overtaken by new forms of music like Disco and what many refer to as Hair Metal (not hating on Hair Metal, Van Halen rocks.) It survived the 80's and in the 90's it resurfaced stronger than ever thanks to bands like Green Day and Rancid. By the mid-2000's it was the most popular form of rock around (Blink-182! Fall Out Boy! Taking Back Sunday!) Nowadays it is not as popular as it was 10 years ago but is still alive and well. Now that there is a rough timeline of Punk let us see its relation to marketing.

In the marketing world there exists the idea of Consumer Buyer Behavior. This is the buying behavior of final consumers - individuals and households that buy goods and services for personal consumption. This is affected by cultural, social, personal, psychological factors. The buyer takes all of these into account before deciding what product or service he will use. The part that I want to talk about is known as the adoption process, which is the mental process through which an individual passes from first hearing about an innovation to final adoption. The five stages of this process are as follows:
  1. Awareness-The consumer becomes aware of the new product but lacks information about it
  2. Interest-The consumer seeks information about the new product
  3. Evaluation-The consumer considers whether trying the new product makes sense
  4. Trial-The consumer tries the new product on a small scale to improve his or her estimate of its value
  5. Adoption-The consumer decides to make full and regular use of the new product
Punk was initially a new style of music that had very little information known about it at its inception. This was the awareness step for many young music listeners. The interest stage came when these people began going to Punk shows and getting Punk records. Some kids were turned off by the intensity of Punk and would no longer seek information while others embraced it with many starting their own groups. This is the way the evaluation step was completed. The trial step was undertaken when those groups that formed decided whether or not they would continue to play as strict Punk bands or expand their sound to include other influences like Reggae (as The Clash did). The adoption process as complete with the fifth step when these new groups decided to fully dedicate their lives to the music and lifestyle of Punk. 

Punk is not supposed to be about commercialism and business so this post is a little sacrilegious of me but the points still stand. Also, Punk is now a part of the buying process for some consumers as it is a cultural factor in the decision process. Punk is in so much of the world around us and I am happy to have been able to share some of my views on it. I now leave with this track from The Clash where the title of this post comes from.

(Definitions taken from the Textbook for our class)

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