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“symbolic adoption”, symbolic consumer feedback December 18, 2012

Posted by Bradley in : life , trackback

Today I experienced the latest attempt to get me to provide feedback on my experience of a repair service – months after initiating the attempts to get the repair done it still hasn’t been done, although the service provider (non-provider?) is very nice when he shows up and seems to be trying hard to do the repair and I give him a good review when they call although they seem to care more about whether he is neat and has a professional manner than whether he gets the job done. I want to call this symbolic solicitation of consumer feedback. But then I notice that the WWF is arranging “symbolic adoptions” and has a package (including a polar bear toy) to memorialize your “adoption”. You can join the Adoption of the Month Club and get a soft toy each month (polar bears are December’s animal). Or you can “adopt” land through the Nature Conservancy. This seems to be symbolic in a different way. It’s clearly not real. At the same time it implies a stronger connection with the organizations promoting the “adoptions” than usually follows a donation. But then symbolic solicitation of consumer feedback is also designed to make the consumer feel differently about the experience of being a consumer.

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