The concept of credit is already part of
American culture-Mortgage, financing, leasing or any other means to purchase
something without having to produce the money instantly. It's an almost a
magical formula which allows us to enjoy goods or services without actually
having the money on hand to buy it. Where would our economy be without this
convenient ploy? It's so commonplace that we often forget that it's just an
economics formula for forward spending. After all, very few of us have enough
money in our bank accounts to live comfortably. Also, very few can say they
have no debt whatsoever. And we forget how dangerous this can be. The economy
itself reminds us of that during the periods when a crisis strikes the entire
world, as was the case with the housing bubble.
... America's economy is on the up
But you know what, dear reader, it seems
that the world has learned a lot from what happened in the US. What the other
countries did not realize was the magnitude of the American economy. Different
types of credit have multiplied throughout the past decades, but more fragile
economies are not familiar with a major trait of American culture: savings.
While there's balance between credit and
savings, economy flows easily. However, what will happen if there's a downpour
of financing with no capital reserve? The outcome... Well, I'm not an
economist, so I'll limit my comments to consumer marketing. Global markets
don't have cash. Much has been said about the crisis in Europe (stretching way
beyond the Commonwealth), in the economic strife in South-American countries
(OMG, I can't imagine what's happening in Africa!) but very little has been
commented on the culture that developed this astonishing ability to fall into
debt. It's surely a consumer culture built around everything we cannot
purchase.A lesson in prosperity that can easily turn to disaster. Right now,
business management strategy is being rewritten so as to understand and envelop
this new public. This new strategy will enable future sales. The problem is
that the market will always follow the client, but the client is no longer
willing to foot the bill. The new formula is complex and controversial.
I often say that, whenever there's an issue
regarding strategic business management, complex finances or consumer
relations, the best thing to do is to head to the nearest small store and
examine how small businesses have been affected. Unfortunately, in some countries
you won't find stores that have lasted more than 10 years.
Sometimes, what is good for one nation
might mean the ruin of another.
A people's financial culture, habits and
education can't keep the pace with leading money-sucking economic models. That's
when globalization will produce casualties, as well as new financial giants.
One thing is for sure: marketing needs to reinvent itself each and every day,
and one of the major. Steps for that is to instill the message of prevention,
of saving, of thinking ahead-a very rare practice outside the 5 top developed
countries. Much like the tale of The Ant and the Grasshopper, only time can
prove the virtues of hard work and planning for the future, which is so not
'in' within our consumer culture.
Today's dollar bills may not soon exist
outside the walls of museums.