Plenty of companies have built their brands on promises based on addressing fears – the needs for protection, for reassurance, for status, for achievement, recognition and so on – in a world where so many of those things are portrayed as being at risk. But how successful is fear as an emotive driver today and should we still be using it as a motivation to get people to buy more stuff?
John B. Watson, a key figure in the development of behaviourism, famously said that effective advertising revolved around three basic emotions: love, fear and rage. (Get the backstory on this here). It’s a nice meme. But is it still accurate?
We’re much more susceptible to the power of suggestion than many of us might like to think – at least that was my take-out from more reading from Time: this time on how brands use buying suggestions to entice us to buy more than we might otherwise.