This is one of my old notes from studying marketing. I’m haven’t been practicing marketing, and trying to restart practicing marketing again.
The 16 emotional and psychological touch points you can push to motivate buyers are:
- “Desire for control” – People want to “master” their surroundings. A seller using this hot button tries to convince prospective customers that they will gain control over some facet of their lives by buying a product. Airline pilots offer passengers flight and weather information to give them the illusion of having some control over their circumstances in the air. Consumers buy insurance or take vitamins to extend their feeling of control. This hot button makes new products harder to sell, because people have a conflict between the urge to control and the need to innovate, change and grow.
- “I’m better than you” – Everyone wants to feel respected and wants to have prestige. These feelings, which sociologists compartmentalize as status, drive many purchasing decisions. Buying and using top brands is the most common way to gain this feeling of prestige. Associate your product with a certain “status” to profit from this hot button.
- “The excitement of discovery” – Everybody wants to be the first to find something new. So, when manufacturers find fresh uses for old products, they call the products new. The most common marketing use of newness is product segmentation. Now you can buy several forms of the same cereal, soda or coffee – all based on the joy of discovering some unique feature. For example, Avon Skin So Soft enjoyed a revival when customers noticed that it also acted as an effective insect repellent. People rushed to buy baking soda, a very old washday product, when the manufacturer discovered a novel use for it, and issued ads proclaiming: “Got a secret. Put a box of Arm & Hammer in back of your refrigerator to keep your refrigerator smelling great.” The word “secret” triggered customers’ discovery hot button.
- “Revaluing” – Baby boomers are reconsidering their lives, and building on memories and familiarity to create a fresh “chance to be happy.” To reach them, forget the hard sell. Focus on offering great experiences more than great products. Revaluers care about leading meaningful lives. They are open to volunteering and supporting important causes.
- “Family values” – The family is big business. For marketing appeal, evoke the buyers’ vision of how they want their families to be, instead of how their families are. Learn from Disney, the “biggest name” in selling family values. Stress the joys of togetherness.
- “The desire to belong” – People seek “emotional connections” and affiliations with groups of similar people, from social clubs to professional organizations. The slogans and artifacts that unite group members offer marketing opportunities. To profit from this hot button, try to tap into the “shared perceptions, imitation and mirroring” that support a person’s sense of belonging.
- “Fun is its own reward” – The fun hot button is often the easiest to exploit because it lends itself to great commercial products and sales ideas. Everybody wants to have fun. For marketers, evoking good times requires being creative. For instance, give your product or service a fun, catchy name that’s easy to remember. Figure out how to tap into the latest recreational trend, and tell people how your product can help them have a good time. “Prepackaged fun,” like bowling alley birthday parties, hit this button. Promise recreation and satisfaction from almost any product and make big profits.
- “Poverty of time” – If you can promise people that your product will save time, you can make this hot button ring like an alarm clock. Marketers designed and named “five-minute meals” and “10-minute oil changes” to appeal to the time-challenged consumer.
- “The desire to get the best” – Your customers want high quality, so show them that your product is the “quintessential product” in its category. If you sell Jaguars, these are your buyers, no matter how many repairs that dream car might need.
- “Self-achievement” – This is the realistic part of wishing, as opposed to daydreaming, which is fantasy. Self-achievement is the universal drive to maximize your potential, not by acquiring material goods, but by excelling at something physical, psychological or even artistic, even if you’re an amateur. Planning and executing a six-course dinner is a thrill, but the best part is receiving the compliments afterward. The ad urging men to enlist in the U.S. Army hits this hot button hard with its very memorable message, “Be all that you can be.”
- “Sex, love and romance” – Sex sells. With the use of suggestive words, smoky images and scantily clad flesh, marketers use sex (from innocent flirtation to naughty innuendo) to sell their products. They use the most obvious ways to reach and exploit consumers’ emotions to sell movies, music, cars and so much else. And people succumb, because the approach is totally upbeat. Sex can focus on desire, satisfaction, food, happiness, storytelling or a great set of wheels. Everyday products designed to appeal to men and women’s animal instincts are subtly persuasive. Soap operas, which feed the need for gossip, entertainment and various levels of love and romance, also build product loyalty. Without the trio of sex, romance and love, the jewelry business would go bust. Cosmopolitan magazine is one of the most successful sellers of sex and romance. Unlike Playboy, which began as a sex-oriented publication and remains one, Cosmo, once a staid women’s magazine, reinvented itself. It used to specialize in cooking, household chores and chocolate recipes. When it turned to features that were blatantly about sex, not only did Cosmo sell more copies, but it also made a killing in higher circulation and advertising revenues. Although sex may be universal, it takes smart thinking to cash in on the market that centers on this primal instinct. The people who understand this best must be the folks who create the marketing for Victoria’s Secret. They obviously understand that “hiding small areas of flesh can be more arousing than showing everything.”
- “The nurturing response” – When Lever Brothers’ marketers named its laundry softener “Snuggle,” they were pushing the nurture button. Products from gourmet dog food to special shoelaces for kids draw buyers by confirming that they are caring, loving people. This is a “touchy-feely kind of emotional hot button.”
- “Reinventing oneself” – Ads for all types of schools and weight-loss programs convey this message: You can make yourself over and, thereby, become richer, better employed and more popular. Education is the main road to reinvention, but there are others. People are willing to take radical steps to change, as demonstrated by the 22% increase in plastic surgeries in 2004. Reinvention is associated with strong emotions. Marketers increasingly cash in on life changes by developing new products or repositioning old ones.
- “Make me smarter” – This button is often underrated. Marketers should understand just how persuasive it is to make buyers feel more intelligent and knowledgeable. Just the triumph of scoring a great bargain can help someone feel extra smart. People want to be well-informed and bright, and they’ll respond quite well if you can promise to make their children smarter, too. For instance, one company offered computer lessons for moms, dads and kids together.
- “Power, dominance and influence” – This hot button is basic, like status. It hits the desire to control others, whether that authority is based on corporate hierarchy or special abilities. Sometimes promoting symbols of power is enough – think of Mont Blanc pens – but other times only real authority will serve. The urge for power cuts through many otherwise substantial barriers of culture, time and geography.
- “Wish-fulfillment” – Hundreds of interviews and focus groups reveal that people want to own things they think will help them fulfill their personal wishes. Whether that means buying a dishwasher, a six-pack or a luxury car, try to make their wishes come true.