If you want to know how to increase sales online then this article is for you. In it, I talk about using envy as a way to increase the desirability of your products or services.
Recently it was widely reported that mega celeb Kim Kardashian gave her 6-year-old the famous black jacket that Michael wore and his “Smooth Criminal” hat, apparently worth some $50,000, it seems appropriate to talk a little about envy!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not actually envious of the little lad. I am not an MJ fan, the jacket is hideous, and any form of a hat somehow makes me look like Elmer Fudd. So I hope little North enjoys these very generous gifts from his mother. Somehow I think he probably looked at the jacket and hat, rolled his eyes, and thought “WTF!!”
From an early age, we are conditioned to measure our social standing in terms of our peers. We compare against how people around our own age are treated – what they have, what they are given, what they do, what they are allowed to do. Envy is a natural emotion, but it comes in two forms: Positive or Destructive.
Positive Envy motivates us to take action to improve something. So you may be motivated to get fit when you see others run a marathon. Or maybe we see the lives that Pat Flynn or Neil Patel lead and it motivates you to learn and succeed at digital marketing.
By contrast, Destructive Envy makes us feel inferior and can generate an intensely negative mindset, anger, and even anxiety and depression.
Our feelings of envy are deep-rooted and we are inequality averse – we not only want what we see others have, but we also want more than they have. This is a pretty powerful emotion for Evil Marketers because by generating a perception of inequality we can harness their Destructive Envy to make them do something – for example, to buy stuff! So by now, you should have guessed how to increase sales – that’s right, use envy!
How To Increase Sales Using Envy
The key to triggering Destructive Envy is to manufacture a perception of Desirability, and this can be done using one or more of these 5 triggers:
Benefit – Your product or service solves a problem that no-one else is solving.
Beauty – Your product or service is aesthetically more pleasing than that of your competitors – think Apple.
Scarcity – Restricting the numbers available makes your product or service more desirable. You may offer a release of a limited number, or offer availability during a short window of time with say an annual repeat (so, for example, you open up membership registration for a two week period and then close registration down for the rest of the year).
Association – Linking your product or service with a desirable lifestyle or individual is also a powerful driver of desire. This is the most common trigger used in TV advertising – beautiful people in exotic locations, or very jolly, happy individuals driving the car or cleaning the house! Take a look at an earlier post I made about ‘Using Similarity To Drive Perception.’
Secrecy – Providing your product or service to a select few, and allowing them to ‘leak’ a few details over time will fuel desire. Invite influencers to take part in your course or product beta testing and provide them with ‘sound’ bytes to publish on their own blog or social media accounts (with some co-ordination from you!).