The Psychology of Good Marketing

Adam Mace

Freelance Copy & Blog Writer for Bid Branding Boutique

A deep understanding of psychology will make you a better marketer. But determining exactly where to start can be a bit daunting. Marketing Psychology is about gaining a good understanding of the way people think, feel, reason, and select between alternatives and how you can adjust your company business to utilize this best. Good marketing is more than just sticking a logo on a website, running some Facebook Ads and occasionally posting on a blog every now and then.

Although that might get you off to a good start, if you’re wanting to start competing with the top companies in your niche, you’re going to have to start acting like it. It may sound a little harsh, but that’s the reality behind it – you don’t see Nike hoping for the best – so, if you’re planning on competing with them, you shouldn’t be either.

That’s where marketing psychology comes into play. The social science of making people do exactly what you want them to do. Gain a good understanding of the way people think, feel, reason and select between alternatives and you’ll be well on your way to building a global brand that you can really be proud of.


But asking which techniques are the very best is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string – there’s no true answer. There is evidence and data that can back up the points and give you statistics to play around with – but making an executive decision about which way a brand wants to travel is by far the best method of narrowing.

 Feeling a little in the dark when it comes to the psychology of good marketing? Sit back, pour yourself a brew and get your notepad at the ready.  Here’s your crash course in just three marketing techniques taking advantage of psychology to maximize your brand, your sales, and your services.

Don’t sell a product, sell a lifestyle

One of the very best pieces of advice for marketing any product or service is to look at the lifestyle that the target customer strives for.

 People are peculiar creatures and for some reason, we always see the grass greener on the other side and it comes to looking at other people’s lives – it’s never been truer. It’s for that reason that so many companies opt to sell a lifestyle over showcasing a product when marketing their gear.

 Sticking with Nike for an example, we can see their advertisements just about everywhere – but it’s rarely the t-shirts and trainers that are the main focus of the campaigns, but rather the lifestyle, energy and athletes and celebrities that they have wearing them.

 With some of the world’s top athletes (including Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer, and Tiger Woods) all sponsored by the sporting wear giant, it’s hardly a surprise that sales are through the roof when it comes to their gear. Football fans around the world will be searching to have the same Boots as Ronaldo, so it makes sense to give him your very best pair (and a huge chunk of money) for him to rock them.

 The same is true when it comes to selling a service. By keeping content and advertisements centered around selling a lifestyle over the service, it’s easy to make customers want to feel a part and opt into the service. Whether it’s a gym membership, teeth whitening service, window cleaning business or just about anything else you can think of – 90% of the time, people are buying into the lifestyle, not the product.

 Sell the lifestyle, not the product.

Sell the lifestyle, not the product.

Keep things emotional

We’re not just swayed by the lifestyle that brands promote, but rather the emotions that they evoke and promote with their content.

 It’ll come as no surprise that humans are emotional creates (especially if you’ve seen Marley and Me) so to make the link between emotional and psychological appeals and higher conversions in marketing isn’t exactly rocket science.

 Everyone is in a different stage in their life and depending on the product or service that you’re aiming to sell – you’ll be targetting a single (or a small group) of different stages. For example, if you’re flogging football boots online, you’ve got a niche audience whose life stages you should be able to target with a little research.

 If you decide to market towards children 8-12 then you know your market. Tailor your product and your marketing strategy and target the emotions of both children and parents in your campaigns. Maybe show a world-class footballer’s journey from a youth team to the Premier League and you’ll have everyone on your side.

 People will buy with their emotions, you’ll be mad not to take advantage of when planning your marketing strategy.

Promote Exclusivity

Last up on the crash course of the psychology of marketing comes the idea of exclusivity and just how many people value it when looking to purchase a product or service.

 If we’re looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, near the very top of the pyramid lies self-esteem, something that many want but not all that many ultimately get. People want to feel important as if they’re part of an exclusive group or that they’re lucky enough, fast enough or smart enough to get hold of your product.

 It’s for this reason that we’re seeing marketing campaigns with the taglines of ‘we’re not for everyone’ or product launches with minimal numbers that sell out in minutes. It’s not because these companies don’t like making money, but the opposite. There’s excitement or exclusivity created around the products and the brands, building loyalty and maximizing the effectiveness of future product sales.

 Sticking with limited edition and minimal numbers of products, we see one of the most famous examples with the Yeezy shoe collection launched by Adidas. With a perfect cocktail of celebrity designer in Kanye West and a limited number run of each model released, consumers couldn’t hand their money over fast enough.

 This led to huge resale value for the shoes as much as 10x the original retail price alongside the increased brand awareness and brand loyalty for Adidas with lines of similar shoes once the Yeezy design was cemented in pop-culture.

 They’ve got exclusivity to thank for the success, alongside the sale of a lifestyle and the emotional connection of the brand.

To cut a long story short, it’s of utmost importance to consider the psychology and the mindset of the target customer when devising a marketing strategy.

 Effective examples include selling the lifestyle over the product, utilizing emotion to create feelings within buyers and using exclusivity to create brand awareness, excitement, and loyalty.

It’s difficult to say which psychological techniques are the most effective, but with a decision made surrounding the core brand message, strategies can be built and experimented with to find that marketing sweet spot.

Bid Branding Boutique

Your company has a story to tell the world. How do you do it in a way that evokes emotion, encourages connection and leads to conversions? BID is here to help. If you’re ready to have your brand stand out from the crowd. Give us a shout.

Be Different.


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