What Makes People Buy: Indoctrination
For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. ~Noam Chomsky
So let’s get started.
Product Indoctrination is difficult to achieve for you and I.
It’s easy to achieve for Apple, Coca Cola, Starbucks, Hitler, the Right, the Left..I can go on…but let’s stick to corporations.
The difference is that these big companies have the distribution channels (stores, billboards, park benches, any place that can hold up a sign) AND access to mass media.
What are the steps to the indoctrination?
- Consumers have no idea you exist. That’s the first obstacle you have to get over.
- Once they know you exist, they need to understand that you have a product for sale.
- Once they know you have a product, then need to want more info about it.
- Once the Benefit of the Benefit is clear to them, you will have the Buy In.
- Make them a repeat costumer.
If you’ve managed to present Identification, Benefit of the Benefit, established Trust, introduced Fear and urgency, etc., your job is now to turn them into repeat customers by pulling them deeper into “your world”.
You achieve this by offering a subscription:
- Newspapers and magazines delivered to your door weekly
- Sonicare toothbrush; replacement brushes delivered to your door monthly
- Blog Sign-Up; daily updates delivered to your inbox.
Any attempt at reoccurring contact by the product-seller is a form of Indoctrination. So children beware.
Prolonged exposure and strong Identification will easily convert a casual consumer into a die-hard follower of the brand. Think Apple geeks for example. (I hope my MacBook doesn’t explode as I continue to badmouth Apple lol)
Indoctrination is easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments. ~ Noam Chomsky
The other way of recognizing Indoctrination is via thought-terminating clichés such us “blood for oil” or “cut and run”.
These phrases are designed NOT to continue reflective conversations but to replace them with emotionally appealing phrases. ~ Robert Jay Lifton
The minute we stop questioning EVERYTHING, we are only an inch away from accepting what is presented. And more often than not, what is presented is Product Indoctrination.
So, should YOU use Indoctrination techniques for your product?
The only time it may be ethically acceptable is when the intention is right. And only you know your intention.
BTW…profits are NOT the right intention.
Profits however, can flow from globally responsible and socially beneficial practices. That IS the direction New Business Practices are taking and it’s the only way to ensure against our own demise.
You think I’m full of shit? You think I’m the only one saying it? Good. I did recommend you question everything and that includes your pall Dino.
Here is what Richard Branson has to say on this subject. Excerpt from The New Secrets of CEOs (Amazon Affiliate Link)
One of the most impressive developments within business today is the belief that to truly become successful, thriving company, you have to place corporate responsibility and sustainability at the heart of your business.
As recently as 10 years ago this was unheard of.
Every large business had a charitable foundation, but this was seen very much as a “nice to do” rather than a core strategy.
Costumers today expect that companies they are purchasing from act in an ethical, sustainable way.
If mankind makes a mistake, it can be catastrophic.
Most companies would kill for die-hard followers willing to draw blood in the name of the product, but when you stop to think about it; when you pause to pull the curtains, you might see how stupid it is to allow yourself to be indoctrinated into the cult of product/service/personality.
I fully recognize that stupid people will continue to draw on the sense of belonging (to their favorite sport’s team, religion, corporate mission, etc.) but my hope is that you’re not one of them.
Be the change you want to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Don’t allow the mob mentality to short circuit your human right to question everything. And use your powers for good.
Other posts in this series.
I recommend these books for further research.
(Amazon Affiliate Links)
Cashvertising by Drew Eric Whitman is quick, easy, jam packed with great info.
The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille is in depth, well researched, head and shoulders above the other books in the similar vain.
Buyology by Martin Lindstrom Like the story of Goldilocks, this one is neither too quick nor too in depth but it’s just right for anyone who wants to have a really practical understanding of what motivates buyers. It rounds out the set nicely.