On October 1st, Shore to Summit will launch a monthly digital publication called The Elevated Edition. The Elevated Edition is a deep dive into the business + life + economic values we’ve learned over the years with each volume focusing on a particular topic. This is our way of pulling back the curtain to showcase and discuss the things that truly matter to us.
The way people conduct business is changing — but you already knew that.
The advent of the Internet has allowed small, micro and solopreneur businesses to reach global markets with a level of ease unseen in history. But the thing most striking revelation is how we’ve seen consumer purchasing power change as a result.
The history of human consumerism is long and vast, but prior to the 20th century, people typically shopped close to home. When a horse is your main means of transportation and you have land to protect, you’re not going too far for too long. This almost exclusively meant shopping from local, small businesses.
As transportation evolved and technology transitioned into the digital age, consumerism erupted with all the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas morning. The mid-1900s was a period of innovation giving rise to factories and an ability to create more for less. Suddenly, we could purchase tools that made our lives easier saving us time and money. It reshaped people’s spending habits to purchase more but adversely reshaped our planet in the process.
While capitalism has thrived under our newfound ability to extract, strip and repackage resources into consumer goods, the planet has struggled to keep up. As we drew closer to the new millennia, so did the evidence of how our new spending habits affected the earth, cultures and global economies. The 1990s gave birth to the idea of sustainable and responsible consumption, a cause championed by the United Nations in 1992.
Then came the Internet with instantaneous access and spread of information. Corporations and big business no longer held a monopoly on free trade markets. Middlemen were cut and ingenious small businesses have once again been empowered to reach consumers directly.
Again, consumer behavior shifted.
People are no longer restricted to buy products of mass production from megastores. Nor is the only other option costly luxury items. There are shades of grey emerging in consumer goods that fit all styles, preferences and budgets.
So why did I just give you a crash course in the history of consumerism?
Because patterns in consumer behavior trickle back to small and growing business owners like you and me.
How people choose to consume — or lack thereof — is a form of self-expression. We put meaning and value behind the products, services and experiences we consume. Whether you’re the everything name brand type or ready to dismantle capitalism altogether, there is a direct identity factor at play in regards to where you place your dollars.
And people have begun to demand more and more from the businesses they purchase from.
Which gets to why I’m talking about this whole thing. At Shore to Summit, our allegiance is first and foremost to our primary mission: doing our part to leave the world a little more beautiful than when we found it. And we do that through marketing.
We realize that’s a bold statement to make seeing as marketing is on of the most distrusted professions in the world. But it’s a statement we stand by.
Eradicate unethical business practices. Foster a space based on trust, transparency and industry. Protect said space to allow business owners, partners and employees to do their best work. We do not believe the customer is always right.
As marketers of consumer products, goods and services, we actively choose to work with small and growing businesses that live by a similar creed. Our favorite kind of business owner is the one that strives toward a profit but won’t sacrifice their soul or an employee at the stake to get there.
The brands we look up to and strive to emulate are pioneers in their respective professions. They’re unafraid to go outside what’s considered PC for what they believe. They have rock-solid missions and visions that sometimes get them in hot water but never haphazardly so.
Does that mean we have a personal vendetta against businesses looking to get rich quick and die trying? No. We just won’t be the right choice for you. Our marketing strategies don’t function that way and we will ultimately fail you.
It’s the realization of these values that’s led to the creation of The Elevated Edition.
The Elevated Edition is a monthly deep dive into the business, life and economic values we’ve come to cherish. Each volume focuses on a topic to help businesses owners build thriving companies that are a joy to run.
From emotional intelligence to reef conservation, we’ll talk about the issues that make our hearts race and dive into how you as a business owner are potentially affected by these issues. It’s our little way of pulling back the curtain to showcase and discuss topics that we’re truly passionate about.
Volume 1 launches October 1st.
I look forward to bringing these Editions to you each month. I hope they inspire you to stand strong in your conviction to build a valuable business that serves you, your community and the world at large.
— Ashley Taylor