You are being manipulated!

Me, manipulated???

It is not easy to admit that we are being manipulated because it challenges our status, our pride and our wisdom. Whether you accept or not, in one way or the other, most of the things you use or have now were sold or shown to you through manipulation. Let me show you how…

We all use products from different companies, don’t we? From the clothes we wear, to our gadgets, our shoes, accessories, food, ingredients, automobiles, services, and so much more. Companies are everywhere and every one of these companies will like us to patronize them and not their competitors.

There are several ways these companies tailor their ad campaigns to drive or compel us to purchase or use their products.

1.Price: Finding a way to reach out to their customers, many companies choose to settle for discounts in order to drive traffic to their own products. They cut their prices, some at the expense of their profit, in order to have the greater market share. A classic example is the Pepsi and Coca-cola struggle for dominance and Pepsi’s new strategy to drop their price to N100 for a 50cl bottle while Coca-cola increased their 60cl bottle to N150. PS: I kinda noticed I have been taking a lot more Pepsi than Coca-cola, could this be the reason? I wonder…

But you’ve been drinking only Coca-Cola before now…;)

2.Promotion: ‘Buy this phone and get one power bank for free’ or ‘Buy two and get one free’, we all know this classic technique. You go to the supermarket, you want to get a shirt, just one! On getting there, you see the sign post, and immediately you start thinking of how to raise the money for two in order to get the third for free. But did you really get it for free? What if the price is embedded in the price of the two you’re paying for? or the shirts are not the same quality with the one you came to buy initially…but who cares? FREE is all that matters. Maybe this is the reason why most tech events seem to offer us a lot of swags…especially free shirts.

Who wants free shirt in the tech event???

3.Peer-Pressure: Telling me that 70% of developers program Python will most likely increase my interest in Python or that Ubuntu is the OS most developers use, will definitely push me to try Ubuntu. That’s just peer-pressure, even if its true. We have a deep inner desire to feel among and if a company is using this technique, it kinda works. Let me see… I code Python now and I dual-booted my system to code with Ubuntu, but I don’t know what caused it. Who are we kidding?

Oh really?

4.Ambition: Some companies choose to focus on the things that we don’t have but aspire to have and make it easier to be accomplished with them. This is another technique and if you think about it, you’ll remember a lot of them like, ‘Earn $10,000 working from home in 1 week’ or ‘Get your 6-pack body doing this 5-day routine’. Oh well, It just doesn’t work that way. Does this ring a bell…Become a software developer in 6 weeks’. Yeah! I hope you can at least edit a bootstrap website after then.

Aspiration didn’t work for this guy…

5.Fear: None of us like fear, we do not want to be afraid, we do not want to lose, we want to be on the winning side. This tactic is very effective, as actions driven by fear tends to be more prompt if implemented properly.

Oh well…Its Internet explorer (in disguise) vs Chrome

So if you’re afraid of malware and have no chill, you’ll probably run off to use the revamped internet explorer which to me is still much buggy as internet explorer. But I guess, the ad wasn’t tailored to me. Let me leave it to you guys to judge.

There are many other way we are being manipulated by these companies but there is an alternative. Inspiration!

Did he just say Inspiration?

Yes! Inspiration has to do with a company starting with a belief, a reason or a purpose. The companies that make us feel like we are a part of something greater than ourselves, the companies that we love to associate with their products so much even in public, the companies that identified the reason they exist. When we believe what these companies believe, we immediately form trust and loyalty.

This is what we see in companies like Apple. Elon Musk also starts with a reason, sort of a purpose and we can see the result. If you’re starting up a company, now you know what to do. There’s a whole lot more to this, but I won’t be sharing this now.

I hope you have seen ways you’ve been manipulated in the past!

But no more!

So when next you want to get something, just remember my words and ensure you’re not being manipulated to doing what you wouldn’t do normally. If the company doesn’t inspire you, switch!

Let us choose to be inspired than to be manipulated and if you’ll be manipulated, at least don’t be ignorant about it. The End!

If you know any other manipulation technique, you can add that on the comments below, do give me a shout out on twitter and show me some love with claps!

Thank you for reading…