Sunday, April 03, 2011

C is for Consumer Consciousness

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out!
What you will be reading via the letters A-Z is a little bio about me. This will give you a glimpse into my work world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.


In the beauty industry (and don't let this topic scare you men off - this pertains to you as well - so hang in there) it's all about the consumer - something we all are - even you men! (think shaving products, hair growth products, and now even cosmetic surgery is on the male radar)

As a consumer what is your role?

Do you need to be on top of every little thing that you encounter, from products to types of services available; can you just rely solely on the sign on the door of a business; how about the label and advertising of a product (endorsed by paid actors) or even the recommendation from a friend?

How do you exercise your consumer consciousness?

Since I am covering the "beauty industry" the blanket is a large one, all things relating to external grooming and maintenance will be under this blanket - such as all beauty product purchasing (both by men and women), services offered by "beauty professionals" and even cosmetic surgery.

As this may be read by wonderful readers from around the globe - some of the "legal parameters" regarding products and services as they pertain to the beauty industry will vary - bear this in mind when you are reading this. I write this as it pertains to British Columbia, Canada.

In BC the beauty industry was deregulated many years ago. This puts the onus on the consumer to do their due diligence when seeking out the services of a "beauty professional" and this is exactly where I wish to spend a little time with you.

After deregulation, almost overnight, we saw the rise of the "nail shop" which gave Starbucks a run for their money as these shops popped up all over the city in record numbers.

Operators within these premises were no longer required to have any certification or license to perform their services. That's right - NO certification or license - literally overnight problems started to occur.

Yet, consumers frequented these "overnight" businesses without regard to the education of the staff or the hygienic practices within these establishments, because the price was without rival.

(In the world of beauty the one truth I can safely say does exist - after twenty-seven years is this: You get what you pay for - and that is a fact!)

As these problems started coming out in the media the stories about serious flesh eating diagnosis of the legs and about nail disorders of both hands and feet were shocking and the harsh reality of these "nail shops" was hitting home for consumers.

"Why was this happening?" consumers would ask. "What's the government doing about these shops?" Health inspectors were going crazy trying to keep up with the complaints - and things kept going from bad to worse.

My question always was, during these early years of deregulation, where is consumer consciousness in all of this - do consumers have a hand in their own fate?

My answer was always a simple "Yes!"

Consumers do have a hand in the outcome of their choices. We all do! No amount of government regulations will negate the need for you, the consumer, to do your homework - and that goes for almost everything we purchase - cars, boats, homes and even the family pet needs to be researched if one truly wishes to get the right fit.

Consumers need to realize the real power they have to self-regulate an industry in which they are major consumers. The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry because consumers do not challenge what is being fed to them. I see this time and time again with the manipulation of the consumer to feel inferior for not "having" the latest product, service or surgery to be "one of the beautiful people" we all seemingly aspire to be.

If only we could all be air brushed to perfection as we walked out our front doors the world would truly be a beautiful place - now fall down a rabbit hole if you wish to experience that fantasy!

Just because a commercial makes it sound absolutely fabulous doesn't mean it is! Just because the product is being endorsed by some stud of a man or siren of a woman, who looks flawless, doesn't mean you should rush out and buy it - but, surprisingly many do!

Yes, many do!

You and I have, on occasion, fallen into this consumer trap! It's sad but it's true. Most of us, however, learn from the experience and do go forward with our "Buyer Beware" glasses on and make sensible choices.

The sad truth is that for every individual that is a conscious consumer - there are hundreds that are not.

Which are you?

Until D...

10 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about consumer consciousness. I bought a knock-off of Biore, you know, those strips you place across your nose to remove blackheads. I thought I'd save a few bucks. Well, the dang things were a ripoff! True, they removed my blackheads, but one of them even ripped off my nose. Now, I have nowhere to set my glasses (oh, yeah, and now I have a hole in the middle of my face).

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  2. This is not an easy questions and to be honest I don't think that many are giving it a second thought. You made my reflect upon bio products which in Europe are so hype but at the end are they? Is that what we need? Hm ... Nice post though, made me think :)

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  3. This was a great C post. You never think about who all is getting sucked in, you're just thankful it isn't you. I've been lucky to have learned my lesson on a few occassion and have become very cautious from here on out. Gotta be a smart consumer.

    Just here to welcome you to the A to Z blogging challenge! I'm a co-host, should you have questions don't hesitate to ask! I know we're on day 2 but you are already rockin' it out! I do hope you'll stop by and say hello! We are also having fun on twitter (I'm @jenunedited and we're at #atozchallenge)!

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  4. Very good post.

    I try to be informed about some stuff, but I think I fail when it comes to this.

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  5. c your point!

    so like a gave you an award at my JADIP blog...
    cuz i am all warm and fuzzy like that...

    and you deserve it cuz i love your blog!

    do with it what you will...

    i will be posting the blog soon...

    Bruce and Tucker
    Bruce Johnson JADIP
    Evil Twin
    stupid stuff I see and hear
    The Dreamodeling Guy
    dreamodeling!
    The Guy Book
    The Guy Book

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  6. Al
    I can always count on you for a comment that makes me laugh.
    You are the “Man” - da Bomb - cool - radical - mind you now that you are missing a nose...

    ...hmmm - I wonder, does that change things - am I just shallow enough to need men I admire to have noses - must think...

    Yup, you’re safe - nose or no nose - you’re still the “Man”!


    Claudia
    Welcome to Pearson Report! I’m glad I gave you something to think about - it is a worthy thought - as consumers we need to hold onto our purchasing power and not be so willing to part with it.


    Jen
    Your praise is appreciated - given you are one of the co-hosts for this event I am very honoured to have you drop by and leave me a comment. I’ve been over to your site and left you a “hello” as well.


    Oilfield
    Hi buddy - I’m happy you dropped by! I am please you try to be informed - the more we are the easier it is to avoid the traps.


    Bruce
    Hey - thanks so much for the award - you are too kind (big hugs). I’m glad you love my blog - but you need to know that I love all of yours too! (mutual fan club members, I see)

    Becca
    It’s so sweet of you to drop by - I always appreciate seeing your cute avatar brighten up my comment roster.

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  7. C stands for Click the follower button and I did. I like the looks of what you do here. Thanks for stopping by my site and glad that you've jumped into the fray of A to Z. I think you will enjoy the results.


    Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
    Thanks.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

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  8. Oh, you are so right about falling for the hype sometimes. Ugh, I've done that. Wanted to kick myself because I knew better! I'm loving this series you're doing! Great posts! :)

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  9. Pam - two hits in one night, lucky me - you are a treat!

    The good thing about getting caught once is if we learn from it then we don't have to go down that path again!

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Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

I'd give you a penny for them, but alas we just snuffed it out. Yup...gone!
It's all about the nickel now...so at this rate you can leave 5 thoughts!

Cheers, Jenny

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