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Opinion

Businesses manufacture market demand

Businesses don’t respond to market demand. They manufacture market demand.

Some time ago, I was talking to a homebuilder about a particular building material they were using for most of their homes. When I questioned them on it, they responded with something like, “We create only what the market demands.” Another homebuilder used a similar argument when I questioned them on their lack of multi-family housing options.

I’ve heard this argument from multiple businesses (not just home builders) over the years. Except it’s a lie.

Businesses don’t respond to market demand. They manufacture market demand.

Apple didn’t create the iPhone because consumers were demanding it. Telefunken didn’t produce televisions because consumers were demanding them. Developers didn’t start building single family housing in the suburbs because people were demanding it. Home builders didn’t start building with vinyl siding because consumers were demanding it.

The list goes on. While certainly consumers want these things now, it’s because the demand was manufactured.

Anyone with a basic marketing education understands the AIDA formula: awareness, interest, desire, action. You create awareness of your product among potential consumers, then you nurture that awareness into an interest for that product, which you eventually develop into a desire. Then you call them to action through purchasing that product. The first A in the process is awareness, not action.

Any business owner who tells you they are responding to market demand is either ignorant or lying.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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