We’ve all heard it before: “buy this car and have the luxury life you always wanted”. Usually, advertising sketches a utopia; an idealistic world. This form of marketing, where a certain product offers the key to the life you always wanted, is known as aspirational marketing.
This form of advertising builds on the principle of cognitive consistency theory, which claims that a fit between one’s self-concept and an identity-enhancing brand or product category leads to greater attraction.
Let’s start with a simple question: how many people do you know that actually enjoy the commercials that interrupt their favorite TV-show? Exactly, me neither.
For years, online marketers have been investigating what consumers will tolerate and how ads can deliver a strong message. One of the most desirable effects of an ad is brand recognition – this means whether customers recognize your brand and correctly associate it with the right product.
Imagine walking into a clothing store and the first thing you see is a rack of jeans clearly labeled “€49.99”. With this price in mind, you start looking at the different jeans. As you scavenge those denims, you might find something you like.
Now let's look at a different scenario: imagine walking past a display where you see a pair of jeans. When you walk over to take a closer look, you see that it says “€49.99” on the tag. Will you go in and look for the pair of jeans?
In both cases, the denims and importantly, the price are the same (e.g., you have the same kind of information). However, depending on which one you see first, will you make the same kind of decision?
Web shops are awesome. You have a 24hr delivery, you can read someone else’s review about their experience, and it’s super easy to compare prices between stores.
What’s less awesome about shopping online, is the fact that you can’t hold the product. You have to trust the reviews and wish for the best. And that’s where a lot of web shops can book a lot of progress. You need to make sure that product pages are displaying the product so eloquently that it feels like you’re practically holding the product. Then you’ll be able to remove the barriers from buying online, as opposed to offline.
Observing others’ emotional conflict and agony over an impending decision makes our preferences converge to those of the conflicted actor. We choose more similarly, based on our empathy and shared feelings for the other we observe. This has implications for both consumer behavior in a marketing environment and group decision making.