Monday, August 25, 2014


There are many tactics that retailers use in order to make you want something that later doesn't have a place in your life. Pushing buttons in your subconscious mind leads you to behave in ways that satisfy basic evolutionary drives.

Below we'll explore 5 buttons that push impulse buys:

1. The Love of Shopping
Some people derive enormous amounts of pleasure from acquiring new or novel things, the act of shopping itself creates an immediate pleasure and taken to the extreme shopping acts as a short-term filler for voids of security, happiness, empowerment, anxiety etc...

2. Loss-Aversion Button
Human beings are naturally concerned with avoiding to lose something and feel bad in the future. Retailers push this buttons by creating promotions such as "limited-time offers" that elicit the fear of  missing out on a good deal.

3.  Heuristiscs
Heuristics are unconscious rules of thumb that help us make quick decisions based on past experience. Retailers take advantage of this mental glitch by using bulk packaging or including "free" extras that sometimes are not free at all, but through heuristics consumers get the impression that  it must be a good value without really making a conscious choice.

4. Innate Desire to Save
The desire to save comes from a natural instinct to stock-up in order to survive when resources are limited, thousands of years ago this would have meant the difference between life or death during a harsh winter.  Next time you see a product advertising how much you could save by buying and using their product, you know they are pushing this button to drive you to make a purchase just for the sake of saving.

5. Lack of Objectivity
Sometimes people really believe that by purchasing a home gym they will completely change their lifestyle. Lack of objectivity can lead consumers to make impulse buys that don't really fit with their schedules, personality or lifestyle and end up seldom being used.

Knowing which buttons to push can help you make decisions when creating your promotional strategy or if you are a consumer it can help you understand the dynamics and reflect wether you really need a product you were not thinking of buying in the first place.

Gabriela Borja
SEED Branding Studio