Thursday, October 27, 2011

Buyology and Brandwashing- Are you making your own choices?

Or do you just "think" that you are, due to the inundation of messages you have received since you were born and possibly before?
Are you "Brand washed"? Note the play on brain washing. Perception Management. Mind Control.
Quite likely, unless you avoid mass media- commercials, television and all forms of advertising- You have not made a choice based on your own NEEDS.

Not what you think you need. Not the image that has been painted into your brain by advertisers. Just a choice based on what you need, really just need, to live.

Get 'Em While They're Young

Lindstrom says companies get their hooks into us earlier than we may have thought; he says the average American 3-year-old can recognize 100 brands. That's not all.

"We even are affected by brand messages before we are born, while we are in the womb," he says.

He pointed to a recent British study that looked at pregnant women who watched a particular television show. The results showed that babies born to those women who watched the show had a stronger preference for the program than those children whose mothers did not watch the show while pregnant.

Social engineering experimentation

In writing his book, Lindstrom carried out his own experiment. He hired a family — called the Morgensons — from Laguna Beach, Calif., and filmed them as they had friends over from the neighborhood and talked about 10 specific brands they were using. Their mission was to frequently mention these brands without letting their guests know of their secret motive.

Lindstrom was skeptical at first, but then realized that word of mouth is extremely powerful.

"This simple family, they within three months were able spread the word of mouth to 15,000 people across California," he says.

In fact, it was so successful that "nine out of 10 [exposed to the family] definitely bought at least one out of the 10 brands."

Even after Gina Morgenson, the mother, mentioned the brand Kiss My Face for the 10th time, people didn't realize it was part of a setup. Lindstrom says that's because we spend so much of our time talking about brands that it didn't seem unusual.

How pathetic is that? "We" spend so much time talking about brands it doesn't seem unusual.

I am reminded of the adage "small things amuse small minds" and speaking of brands would correlate to that saying.

How To Cope

Lindstrom says you don't have to switch off the television, iPhone and computer to handle the constant onslaught of brandwashing. Instead, he says, the first thing you should do is educate your children.

I actually think you should switch off the television or at the very least minimize your exposure to this malignant brandwashing taking place on all the mediums. The quiet time will do wonders for the brain.

"They (children) think brands are some physical stuff, but the reality is it's in our minds," he says. "And if you start to educate about that at a very young age, like 5 or 6 years old, they're prepared before going to school, so thay're not a victim to this peer pressure we're seeing happening so much right now."

Also, Lindstrom says when you go out shopping, don't grab a shopping cart.

"We know today that if I'm doubling the size of your shopping cart, you actually are buying up to 40 percent more," he says. "Another thing you should do is to always pay with cash because you have a physical relationship with money."

But at the end of the day, Lindstrom says it is most important that we wake up to the fact that companies are using tricks to persuade us to buy, and that isn't going to change anytime soon.

WAKE-up to the FACT you are being manipulated.

Related: Neuromarketing and why you buy what you do

"The findings dissect the effect of products and ads that are carefully crafted to appeal to buyers on a sensory level — iPod's bright white headphones, PlayDoh's distinctive smell, Tiffany's blue-green boxes.

Lindstrom says companies create rituals around their products — drinking Corona with a lime, or eating an Oreo cookie filling-first — in an attempt to integrate their products into habitual, comforting, daily activities."

Flashback: Consuming Kids: The commercialization of Childhood

If you missed this the first time I posted it, take the time to watch it!

Flashback:Children believe cereal tastier, with cartoon characters on box

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