The psychological triggers that cause consumerism is a powerful strategy that companies use to target shoppers. As humans, sometimes we make decisions that the heart justifies. When companies know what these heart triggers are, they are in an influential position to offer something your heart will say yes to. Buying decisions are as emotional as they are logical. By understanding why we tend to buy new items, will help in understanding how to curb that need and want.
To understand consumerism, we have to take a step back to understand how we are targeted by big corporations and what tactics they use to catch our attention.
WHAT ARE THE STRATEGIES OF MARKETING
There are a few strategies of marketing that are frequently used. There are many reasons why people purchase new items, but there are the Top 5 reasons why people tend to buy products.
- To Belong or Be Relevant. We have an emotional need to want to feel like we belong to a bigger picture and to feel relevant. Some people buy brands when they see ‘cool’ people in the advertisements, because they want mimic them. People unconsciously associate a certain personality with the brand based upon the ads they see, and if this personality is appealing to them, they buy the brand thinking that this action will bring them closer to this personality.
- To Be Right or Not Be Wrong. Some purchases are driven by pride. We want to be able to share positive recommendations with our peers that display our own wisdom in having made that choice in the first place. According to the Social Proof Theory, items become more appealing when they are desired by others. This lets people to sometimes buy products that they don’t need, just because of their perceived attractiveness.
- To Fulfill One of the Four Basic Needs. These are the four states that humans are programmed to pursue, and these needs drive many of our decisions. Shopping can be a means to reach certain goals.
- Health: “I want to drop 10 pounds after the holidays.”
- Wealth: “I want to feel more energetic in leading our team and business.”
- Relationships: “I want to feel confident and ready to date again.”
- Spirituality/Happiness: “Love the skin you’re in everyday!”
- To Have Security. To feel safe is an innate emotional need for us. Some people go shopping to escape from bad moods, bad days, a feeling of uneasiness, etc. Others buy brands to attract attention, such as a person who may buy expensive cars to improve their perceived status. Perhaps a person might buy certain clothes to appeal to the other sex.
- For Memories and Loyalty. There’s an emotional attachment to our memories. The memories that we value the most, are the ones we will tend to draw from.
WHO THEY ARE TARGETING
- People who make purchasing decisions rooted as much in emotional impulses as logical facts.
- Purchasing anything, is as emotional as it is logical.
- Buyers who have egos.
- When making purchase decisions for themselves, buyers will naturally think about themselves and what they stand to gain by buying the product
- Buyers who have a greater commitment to fleeting losses than to seek gains.
- Pointing out what a buyer stands to potentially gain from buying their product, and what they might miss out on, if they don’t.
- Buyers who are naturally suspicious
- Selling experts always preach the importance of establishing a relationship of trust and credibility. If they can gain your trust, the sale is almost complete.
- Buyers who respond psychologically to visual elements and stories.
- The logical side of buyers craves facts and figures, that’s why numbers (price, technical specifications, etc.) are featured so prominently in brochures.
- Buyers who crave value
- Buyers are perked up by the prospect of somehow ‘winning’ the battle against the seller. By gaining as much value from the sale as much as possible, the buyer will feel that they walked away from the sale gaining more than what was presented.
- Buyers who travel in packs
- Buyers have a herd mentality, when opting to move together in large groups. They will naturally be swayed by what a great number of their peers have done, as opposed to standing alone.
By understanding what triggers us as consumers into purchasing new items, it helps us recognize where we might be weak when it comes to buying anything. Self reflection is always a process, and it’s an ongoing journey to understand ourselves better. I have had to reflect on my own purchasing habits and tendencies, so I am no different than anyone else.
When I started to declutter my life, I really examined the products and items I no longer used, but I had not let go of. I don’t like to waste my money, and I doubt anyone else does either. As long as you understand what triggers you as a consumer, you can gain more control over your purchasing power and your spending habits.