Consumerism is the tendency of people to identify strongly with products or services they consume, especially those with commercial brand names and obvious status-enhancing appeal, e.g. an expensive automobile, rich jewellery. It is a pejorative term which most people deny, having some more specific excuse or rationale for consumption than the idea that they're "compelled to consume".
To those who accept the idea of consumerism, these products are not seen as valuable in themselves, but rather as social signals or a reducer of anxiety about belonging. The older term "conspicuous consumption" spread to describe this in the United States in the 1960s, but was soon linked to larger debates about media theory, culture jamming, and its corollary productivism.