I couldn't put Consumer Republic down once I turned the first page. Bruce Philp uses wit, humour, great story-telling and some challenging thinking to clearly lay out the current state of consumerism, and how we can make a difference by just being more aware and ready to act on consuming wisely. Not only do companies have to pay attention to consumer reaction to their brands or service, they know that with today's instant communication technologies (like Twitter, Facebook, and more), they can see their brand plummet badly in the hands of unsatisfied consumers. It works on the plus side, too. For companies committed to treating consumers well or treating the world around us well, there are cudos and recommendations that can help boost a brand. I found this to be a personally motivating book, too, about buying well, treating what we buy well, and getting rid of unnecessary clutter (it clutters one's mind, I find). I've turned this into action by donating whatever I can when no longer of use or delight to me. I'm sure I'll read this book again over the summer to see how far I've put thought into action, too.
Consumer Republic By Bruce Philp is a consumer must-buy. This book is interesting, funny, easy to read and understand. The thrust of the book is that we can all make a difference by being mindful of what we purchase. The three rules - buy less, buy better and take care of what you buy are good strong common sense ideas. Something we can all get behind and practice. I think this book should be bed time reading for families or perhaps used in our public school curriculum. It is hopeful, funny, well-informed and constructive. Above all,it does not preach or scold as so many books of social criticism do these days. I particularly liked the way he weaves the thinking of Buddha, Ruskin and William Morris to persuade us that we shouldn't have anything in the house that isn't useful or beautiful. The take-away is that we should make our consumption count for something, like casting a ballot. (I was trying to find the book just now and found my 13 year old had it by her bedside!)
In my opinion, since the beginning of time man has been focused on one thing..... seeking a higher standard of living. The definition of just what a higher standard may be, is not something agreed upon unanimously. However, in Canada we live in a nation that operates on a model of capitalism where the majority rules, health and education are highly valued, and ownership of property has rights associated with it. Although far from perfect, it remains with us until something better comes along. This model comes with many costs...as does everything. One of the most pressing costs is the negative effect upon the global ecological environment. However, when looking at viable solutions, I do not believe it is a popular belief to have our standard of living reduced (although if we fail to change we may have no choice). This means that in order to both have a continually rising standard of living, while at the same time reducing our impact on the environment (although mutually long term linked) we need to be focused today on what we buy, how it is produced and how we dispose of it.
The Consumer Republic illustrates the power we have today to ensure that this happens. Because of the high capital invested in Brands and the value of future earnings associated with them we are in a unique era. Through the social media expansion, and the power it instills within the consumer, we can influence the so called corporate cows" to ensure the Brands they create and nurture, focus on sustainable methods......while at the same time still provide us with the goods and services for us to seek a higher standard of living. I embrace the message that Bruce Philp brings to the consumer. Buy brands responsibly, scrutinize every purchase, vote with your dollars, voice your opinion (however not recklessly) on the goods and services you buy via the social media platforms, and continue to press and change companies to do better for the world we all live in. In return the brands should respond, not because they want to, because they have to in order to survive. At a time when much of the green movement focuses on why we should not be using x or y, but at the same time not providing any viable alternative, this book shows us what we are doing wrong, but then also provides a solution how to change it...and one that is viable. I really enjoyed how he has shown us that our time of action is now, and things can change one purchase at a time.
Awakening, cheeky and enlightening. Consumer Republic, by Bruce Philp is an open sesame to a world we're all wrapping our minds around. Advertising is heavily fragmented. Consumers are dispersed. And social media is changing the way we talk to the corporation. Welcome to a pivotal moment in the 21st century. At the heart of this constant flux are 'brands' - the beacon of light Naomi Klein refuses to acknowledge. Rather than dwell on the cynicism plaguing consumers, Philp proves how we can take charge of the quality goods and services around us. Philp's words are bookmarks in the history of consumerism and I recommend them to everyone. Yes, there are opinions you may disagree with; however, Philp's extensive knowledge of brands might shift your cognitive dissonance. This book is both a gift to those who want to build sustainable brands and consumers who'd like to maintain them. And trust me. Somewhere in the corridors of these pages lies the answer to 'how we can save this world.'
Consumer Republic is a fabulous read, packed with fascinating research, along with entertaining and insightful first-hand accounts. After reading this book I felt smarter, better informed and enjoyed the humorous storytelling style. It caused me to fundamentally shift my perspective towards my consumption habits. Without making me feel guilty, it was a call to action to reevaluate my habits and my impact. I highly recommend it.