Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Lessons from Bangladesh: building a better boycott

By Noshua Watson

My IDS colleague, Naomi Hossain, has a recent blog about the apparel factory building collapse in Bangladesh and how it symbolises the utter failure of globalisation. Until now, proponents of globalisation have advocated establishing private systems of governance to oversee supply chain compliance in situations that are not easily monitored by national or local authorities. In the case of Rana Plaza, the complex’s owner has been arrested and will be tried for the collapse, which is alleged to be among other criminal activities. Companies like Walmart, Gap, Carrefour and Li & Fung recently met with governments and NGOs to negotiate a plan for future factory safety in Bangladesh. The question for them is what to do going forward in unethical, but less than criminal, circumstances.

One activist approach is to boycott companies. Boycotts vary in their effectiveness due to the amount of media attention they can attract, the extent to which they passionately engage consumers over the long-term, whether they are easy for consumers to understand and whether it is easy for consumers to participate. In the Rana Plaza situation, the goal of a boycott would actually be indirect, to put pressure on garment factory owners by attacking the reputations of the global brands that they supply.

One problem with attacking a brand’s reputation is that reputations are merit-based, on the quality of the product and its past performance. Disparaging a product’s reputation increases a brand’s compliance measures only to the extent that it changes consumer perceptions of product quality or lowers the price premium that a brand can earn for its product. That is fairly difficult in the case of mass-market apparel, where consumers are already distinctly aware of the quality-price trade-off they are making.

Another way to address the situation would be to attack a brand’s status, the non-merit-based, social perceptions that it is better than other brands. The way to damage a brand’s status is to break its relationships with high-status people, drive the brand down in important rankings or challenge brand associations that the brand has cultivated like being ‘cool’ or ‘family friendly’. Given the more intangible and unearned nature of status, this might be an easier route for boycotters to take.

Prior to the Rana Plaza collapse, many major global brands were already minimising their presence in Bangladesh, due to their inability to achieve the levels of supplier safety compliance they wanted. Unfortunately, their departure may have left behind brands with lower standards. For the sake of their industry, the brands that care may want to make it clear who belongs to their club and who doesn’t.


Naomi Hossain said...

hi Noshua, Naomi here. I just wanted to share an experience from yesterday, when I went to a high street shop in Brighton to buy clothes made in Indonesia (where I live) and Bangladesh (where I visit regularly; you can't buy these clothes legally in either country). I asked the charming sales assistant whether anyone had asked about the 'made in Bangladesh' label. She asked me why, and had not heard of the building collapse. The shop was heaving with customers, all buying clothes made in Bangladesh. I don't think the average UK consumer gives a damn, frankly. I still think the workers will, unfortunately, have to fight for their rights, rather than waiting for Westerners to be kind and think about them.

Zheng junxai5 said...

louis vuitton bags
toms wedges
michael kors outlet online
coach outlet
ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton outlet online
ghd hair straighteners
toms outlet
louis vuitton handbags
ralph lauren polo shirts
kate spade handbags
christian louboutin sale clearance
lebron james shoes 13
coach outlet store online
concord 11
coach outlet
tory burch boots
fitflop clearance
coach outlet
abercrombie & fitch
louis vuitton handbags
coach factory outlet
coach factory outlet online
hermes bags
celine bags
christian louboutin shoes
louis vuitton purses
burberry outlet
toms outlet
michael kors
oakley vault
jordan retro 13
lebron 13 shoes
coach factory outlet online
polo shirts
louis vuitton outlet
jordan 3s
michael kors outlet clearance
kate spade outlet

Pantangan Makanan Diabetes Melitus said...

It is good we use in herbal medicine, as they may awake to the authenticity of the drug product :)

Pengertian Sampai Cara Pencegahan Diabetes Melitus
Cara Ampuh Mengatasi Sariawan
Pengobatan Jantung Bengkak Alami
Pengobatan Yang Ampuh Untuk Kanker Mulut
Pengobatan Radang Amandel Sampai Sembuh
Obat Herbal Alami Pembersih Rahim Pasca Keguguran

dong dong23 said...

michael kors handbags
under armour shoes
nike sb stefan janoski
adidas outlet
coach factory online
true religion jeans outlet
burberry sale
michael kors outlet
north face rain jackets
nike roshe run flyknit

liuchunkai said...

camisetas futbol baratas
kate spade uk
canada goose jackets
oakley sunglasses wholesale
christian louboutin sale
ralph lauren?uk
canada goose outlet
nike outlet
christian louboutin shoes
ugg outlet,ugg outlet sale,uggs outlet,ugg outlet online clearance,ugg outlet store,ugg outlet coupons,ugg outlet boots,ugg outlet online store

Arya Nata said...

very interesting and useful information. kencing nanah

Arya Nata said...

una historia muy interesante. kencing nanah

Cara Mengobati Penglihatan Kurang Jelas said...

The information is very spectacular. Thank you for sharing the information :)
Cara Mengobati Penglihatan Kurang Jelas
Cara Mengobati Penglihatan Kurang Jelas
Cara Mengobati Penglihatan Kurang Jelas
Cara Mengobati Penglihatan Kurang Jelas
Cara Mengobati Penglihatan Kurang Jelas
Cara Mengobati Penglihatan Kurang Jelas
Cara Mengobati Penglihatan Kurang Jelas

sarah saad said...

شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش
ارخص شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة