Ends hide in plain sight - overlooked. This absence justifies the indifference we have to the ills of consumption.
We design rich, emotional and meaningful experiences to on-board the consumer through advertising and marketing. In contrast the off-boarding of a consumer experience is barren of emotion and meaning.
This sacrifices consumer action, holding back engagement, limiting reflection and responsibility. Long term side effects of this are exampled in the product, service and digital landscapes. Consequences seen as changing climate, industries fined billions for mis-selling and individuals eroding their online reputations.
What is means for Businesses
Bad endings are holding back businesses.
Lost in an old model of consumer engagement. Where on-boarding was costly, loyalty was infinite, and off-boarding forgotten. In a new streamlined world, with consumers moving between multiple relationships, clean positive endings will be a competitive differentiator.
Benefits of endings in consumer experiences.
- The consumer life cycle is bias.
- Ends helps long term brand loyalty and presence.
- Good endings help improve consumer experience.
- Ends help align legal expectations.
- Ends helps neutralises the negative aspects of consumption.
- Ends raises business awareness of consumers behaviour.
The damage of poor endings
In a world awash with start-ups and new tech, I want to tell you why its critical we start considering endings.
‘Right to be Forgotten’, is the ambitious law of the European Union that protects a persons rights in a digital world that can’t acknowledge removal of the items we have been encouraged to share.
Nearly 30 years of Climate Change discussion and we still fail to accept the implications of ending our carbon consumption.
Revenge porn, rising anxiety rates in young adults and increasing use of VPNs are reactions from a digital society without a foreseeable end to their digital content.
Lacking a vocabulary to safely dispose of electronics, is there any surprise we only achieve 12.5% recycling of e-waste, despite an increase in sales of consumer electronics and a faster turnover of usage.
Our homes are cluttered with on average 300,000 items. Instead of ending these product relationships, we prefer to seek alternatives in off-site storage - the largest growing real estate sector, according to the New York Times.
We fail to consider endings in services that specifically deal with the end of our lives. In the UK we have on average 11 employers throughout our career, each provides us with a pension pot. According to Age Concern, a UK charity, 1 in 4 of these goes missing just when people need it most.
‘Ends.’ makes a compelling case that demonstrates how, over centuries, our changing relationship with death, spread of the Protestant religion, and a tethering of our identities to our consumption has distanced our relationship with endings.