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Be ready for the new definition of quality: purpose


December is calling! I’m shopping and preparing my gifts for Christmas, always a warm period in the year for many of us. Black Friday weekend became a big trend now in the Netherlands and it makes me wonder: are these events fitting with the new world or is the consumption economy unlimited?

I see advertisements everywhere of 50% off, and it is hard to resist to those campaigns. Are these prices real?! I hear about fake advertisements, so I’m more aware. But there is also resistance to these big discounts. I read a nice article in the newspaper about a pop-up store selling cheap food. 21 cents for a kilo of bananas. This shop appears to be a non-profit initiative to show how low the margin is for farmers. The consumer is paying the price the farmer is earning normally (and that price is remarkably low!). And an even bigger initiative in France: consumers occupying a distribution center to say “No” to the capitalism and over consumption. Thus, the question is: are you going for the cheapest price or for a fair price and value?

Last week I listened to Michiel Boreel about the Synthetic Generation (generation Z, younger than the Millennials), and got triggered by the word “purpose”. He explains in his series of reports about Digital Happiness that this generation will bring massive change to our values. They have a big focus on purpose. They are not only more aware of the impact on the climate for example, they are the ones actually taking actions. They are willing to change their behavior, to come in action, and they are not afraid to make big impact with it. This generation is becoming the main customers, the main employees very soon. Do not ignore them!

So, they will most likely NOT want the cheapest price. They want products with a purpose. They want to pay a fair price. They want to see what the product is about and where it comes from (e.g. bananas of the farmer, clothes of the social and responsible companies). They share experiences of the products and rate quality (ratings, online reviews). They understand the impact of social media on brand reputation. I’m saying: the definition of quality of products is changing massively.

The question is: are companies ready for this change? Are companies ready to explain where their products come from? Can they prove this with true traceability? Are they ready to be transparent? To share data and open up? Are they choosing the manufacturing location based on social responsibility, CO2 footprint, fair trade, biological and pure raw materials? Do they dare to choose quality over price and explain their purpose for the world?

The above questions are typical questions included in our assessments, shaping companies’ future strategies, in preparing transformations in both business and SAP S/4hana landscapes. We’ll make sure the technical landscape is ready for what we call the Renewable Enterprise: a platform which ensures that companies keep on renewing themselves and adopt to future trends in the markets.

Today I hear some innovative ideas, in the consumption economy, getting triggered in the minds of our clients. Companies are starting to see where we need to go to. But, I don’t see it translated yet in these Black Friday Deals…  Companies: I urge you to be better than this!

And before you’re asking me about my purpose and climate responsibility in this context: I agree with Michiel Boreel, I am a Millennial. I’m aware of climate change and my behavior, but I am not doing enough yet.  Writing this blog is giving me a mirror as well. As Ghandi would say, let’s be the change we want to see in the world!