Have you ever dared to walk into an Abercrombie & Fitch store? Then the memory of the many muscled six-pack wielding employees probably hasn’t vanished from your mind. The brand seems to be built around the young and fit male employees who guide the customer towards a – likely – pricey fashion investment.
Does this strategy work? Does the sight of bulging biceps, tall v-tapered physiques, and chiseled jawlines truly make the average Joe reach deeper into his wallet? Let’s find out – because science has found an answer.
Nowadays we are more individualistic than ever. We are encouraged to make our own decisions, live the life in a way that we like. And yet, 72% of ads contain assertive language. Brands tell us what to do quite explicitly - “visit our Facebook page”, “floss daily”, “eat healthy”.
How do people react when brands tell them what to do?
We all know that one friend who wants to have luxury products so bad, they don’t spend too much time thinking whether they actually need the product or if it is of good quality. They just want to have it, no matter what!
Other people are completely insensitive to luxurious brands. They explain that they can buy high quality products from cheaper brands, too.
These are examples of two groups of people. What drives their behaviour? Neuromarketing has the answers.
When looking at neuromarketing, a lot of emotions have been examined. One that may have been underexposed, is jealousy. Until now! A recent manuscript by Huang, Dong & Wyer Jr (2016) elaborates the role of jealousy in product preference. I bet you have encountered jealousy at least once in life, think about your partner having an intimate conversation with a man or woman you don’t know. Jealousy is an emotion that is encountered quite a lot in everyday life, and after reading this, you as a marketeer, can use this specific emotion to your advantage.
What is your association with thinness? Discipline? Beauty? Health? That doesn’t come as a surprise. Advertisers, the movie industry and social media are reinforcing these associations every day, making us believe that being thin is hard work and that everyone can be thin, provided that they have sufficient self-discipline. In Western societies we even see a stereotypical connection between a person’s weight and their economic value, such as success and financial achievement. On the contrary people with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) tend to hold a negative body image about themselves and are more likely to be affected by those idealized standards.