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Marketing to postmodern consumers: introducing the internet chameleon

Geoff Simmons (School of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, to provide an overview of postmodern marketing in the consumer context, integrating the relevant literature around two contrary arguments. Second, it seeks to reveal the potential of the internet as a marketing tool that can address the complexities inherent in postmodern consumer markets.


The paper takes the form of a general review.


This paper reveals that complexity reigns supreme in the postmodern marketing consumer context, with postmodern consumers seeking both individualistic and communal brand experiences. Within this complexity, the paper identifies the internet as an enabling tool, which allows direct, real‐time individualised interaction with postmodern consumers. Further, the internet's ability to provide these consumers with the opportunity to express this individuality within homogeneous groups is also presented.

Practical implications

This paper reveals how the internet can allow an individualised one‐to‐one connection with postmodern consumers to a level unparalleled offline. Correspondingly, the paper also reveals how the internet is precipitating significant new opportunities for marketers to engage in and create enticing experiences for postmodern consumers, who crave the ability to appropriate consumption and brands as a means of individualised self‐expression within homogeneous groups.


This paper provides a contemporary and original overview of the opportunities proffered to marketers by the internet, in dealing with the inherent complexities erupting from within consumer markets in the postmodern era.



Simmons, G. (2008), "Marketing to postmodern consumers: introducing the internet chameleon", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42 No. 3/4, pp. 299-310.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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