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

I am NOT a mac nor a PC. Those are just tools I use to get shit done. They contribute nothing to my character or personality.

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?

  1. Consumers have no idea you exist. That’s the first obstacle you have to get over.
  2. Once they know you exist, they need to understand that you have a product for sale.
  3. Once they know you have a product, then need to want more info about it.
  4. Once the Benefit of the Benefit is clear to them, you will have the Buy In.
  5. 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.

What Makes People Buy: Identification

Fear: It’s Whats for Dinner

What Makes People Buy: Trust

What Makes People Buy: Benefit of the Benefit

What Makes People Buy: Your Father’s Genes

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.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

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  • http://twitter.com/WilsonPetDesign Nia

    Preach on “D”… I could care less abt Brand Names, I’m more in it for the quality & how I’m treated as a Customer. If service / product does not meet my standards, I’m the first to bitch about it verbally & written. I utilized my Consumer Rights.

    • http://diyblogger.com/ Dino Dogan

      Indoctrination is dangerous business indeed. Stay vigilant…and I know you will 🙂

  • http://igirl.posterous.com/ Chris Loyd

    I love that you quoted Chomsky 🙂

    • http://diyblogger.com/ Dino Dogan

      Thnx Chris. Chomsky is one of my fav thinkers.

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  • http://twitter.com/jaennutter Julie Nutter

    Cool. And fun to read. I was thinking Starbux the whole time, what with the RED and all that.
    Yeah, with the changing cultures and values (thinking new-age hippies, or vegans as we like to call them, and people with all that green mentality….who are probably in the same category) I would suspect that the corporations would have to change…or sink to the bottom of the ocean.
    Possibly not so dramatic, but it has to help sales when you can market to EVERYONE, and don’t get cut out by the …. extreme? … side of the … s…………something or other.
    (By the way, and here’s funny marketing for you. I like “green” stuff. Cause it says it better for the environment, but I never knew I cared until I saw that I COULD buy that kind of product and went OOOOOH! I want that! Stupid marketing jerks… just kidding. Sort of.)

    • http://diyblogger.com/ Dino Dogan

      Dont get me started on the “green” label. Its so meaningless. Here’s a riddle for you. How do you make any product green? Put a green label on it. BA-GOOSH!!!

      • http://twitter.com/jaennutter Julie Nutter

        Very good point. And then people like me will buy it because we think it’s the “right thing to do.” -____-;; lmao

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  • http://courtcan.com Courtney Cantrell

    Dino, you took the words right out of my mouth — and out of my heart, which sometimes feels quite sick. I am heartsick of the *fear* that politicians, religious leaders, and corporations try to shove down my throat with every speech, every tirade, and every advertisement. Their fearmongering(?) is counter to every good, wholesome, uplifting truth I believe in. And yet, I find myself tempted to give in to the fear, because in spite of my core values, I am still only human.

    Society says I must be crazy *not*
    to fear. Well, stop the madness — I want to get on! : )

  • http://freetraffictip.com Tinu

    I want to comment on this blog post. I truly do because I like exploring the idea of indoctrination as well as the idea of not actually needing to use it to keep clients. But I’m too busy admiring the set up of your blog. So I’ll have to explore and catch you on the next one. Had to let you know I came by though.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hi Tinu. Thnx s much for noticing. Ive done the best I could with my limited design skills 🙂

      • http://freetraffictip.com Tinu

        Hey Dino, skills or no, what’s striking is that you can really see there was thought put into the presentation. Very smart and focused. Not to mention executed.

        I have a million ideas for my site at any given time, but not the time/manpower to implement them. Wish I’d understood setup better back when I got started – that way even if I hire someone I know what to tell them I want, which is the problem now. Twice I’ve been offered free re-design. Just can’t wrap my head around how to streamline the site and still include everything I want…