Have you ever wondered what makes us purchase the things we do?
Why do we window shop for hours without buying anything and then impulsively buy something we don't need from a brand we’ve only heard about now?
You might be surprised to find out that there are psychological triggers at play that influence our spending habits.
In this article, we'll explore some of these triggers and how they can be used to nudge us toward a purchase.
So if you're curious to find out more, keep reading!
Sense Of Belonging
From a young age, humans are social creatures who seek the feeling of belonging to a group.
This need for social interaction and a sense of community is evident throughout our lives, from joining sports teams to working at a company.
It's no surprise, then, that many brands use this social desire when designing their campaigns.
By targeting people's need for connection, brands can make their customers feel like they are joining a community, not just spending money.
In a world where we are increasingly disconnected from our neighbors and communities, anything that can help us feel more connected is likely to be welcomed.
It is important, however, to be able to see through artificial campaigns only trying to manipulate us.
It’s all about recognizing when a brand truly cares about consumers' preferences and voices and truly tries to build a long-lasting relationship with them.
It is no secret that curiosity is a powerful force.
From a young age, we are encouraged to ask questions and explore the world around us.
This innate sense of curiosity drives us to learn new things and seek out new experiences.
It is what motivates us to take risks and step outside our comfort zones.
And it is also what makes us susceptible to marketing campaigns and strategies that play on our curiosity.
After all, if we didn't have this insatiable need to know more, we would be much less likely to click on that intriguing ad or read that compelling article.
Businesses play on this trait by using mechanisms such as prompts that motivate us to take a specific action or, for example, giving sneak peeks of their products.
So the next time you find yourself succumbing to your curiosity, spare a moment to reflect on the power of this tool.
And most importantly, try to manage your expectations in relation to the product you are looking at.
We have all been guilty of falling into the trap of buying things we don't like just because we were sold on the curious advertising.
Moving on to the dark side - shame.
Shame is a very powerful tool that can make almost anyone buy.
It plays on people's emotions, and like in the case of the beauty industry, many campaigns walk around the thin line between being offensive and motivating.
The most common themes associated with shame are perfectionism, fear of not being good enough, and the feeling of not being pretty enough.
In some cases, shame is used in a more positive way, such as in anti-smoking campaigns that seek to make people feel bad about their choices to dissuade them from engaging in risky behavior.
However, more often than not, shame is employed in a way that preys on people's insecurities and reinforces harmful stereotypes.
It's important to be aware of this tactic driving some of the products we purchase and the messages we consume.
Fear is a powerful emotion that can be harnessed by marketing campaigns to drive consumer behavior.
In some cases, campaigns may create a sense of urgency by invoking fear of missing out on a discount or limited-time offer.
In other cases, they may play on actual fears that humans have, such as the fear of illness or the fear of being judged by others.
When used effectively, fear can be a highly effective marketing tool.
So next time you see an offer about to expire soon and feel compelled to do something, think about whether you really need that product.
Or is it merely a campaign trying to make you feel like your life depends on buying it?
All In All
It's important to be aware of how we're being targeted so that we can make the best decisions for ourselves.
Even though psychological triggers are a powerful way to get us to buy things, it's still up to us whether or not we actually want those things.
So the next time you’re considering buying something, ask yourself whether it was because of a clever marketing campaign or because it genuinely added value to your life.
And always remember – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!