Persuading the Consumer

I own three pairs on Nikes running shoes. I’m definitely not a runner and I workout twice a week at most. So at $80 a pair, why do I own three pairs when I can go to Wal-Mart and buy a pair for $20? How can other companies create desire for their products?

Every product has its target market. With Nike, it’s athletes and those who live an active lifestyle. But if brands only market and sell to a select population, they’ll lose out on so much potential sales and profit. So, brands need to find a way to attract customers like me and persuade consumers to buy their product.

There are two types of persuasion brands use to market to customers. Central persuasion is when a customer buys the product based on the content and message of the advertisement. Peripheral persuasion is when a customer buys the product based on anything other than the content and message of the advertisement.

Here’s an example:

If you bought Trop50 because you’re health conscious and liked that it has 50% less sugar and calories, then you were persuaded by central marketing. If you don’t normally buy orange juice but you bought it because you’re a huge fan of Jane Krakowski and aspire to look like her or live like her, then you were persuaded by peripheral persuasion.

Can you think of a time when you were persuaded by a product that used central or peripheral persuasion?

Do you think using peripheral persuasion in advertising actually works to attract customers not in your target market?