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Oct 20

Marketing to their Fears 😱

As human beings we are wired to survive – fear at a primal level keeps us alive.   For marketing purposes, fear comes into play when we strategically (and sometimes subliminally) highlight what a client may or may not have if they don’t purchase our product.  Here are some ideas and examples for you to embrace fear in your marketing campaign:

When it comes to separation anxiety, make sure there is no separation.

Think coffee. What will your morning look like if there’s no coffee in the house? Yes, you’ll probably muster through and hit the first drive-through espresso stand you come across. But for many American adults, no coffee in the house is, at the least, uncomfortable – if not downright scary.

If you have a product or service that consumers need on a constant basis, make sure you’re always easily available to your customers.  

A good example of capitalizing on separation anxiety is Amazon’s use of Dash Buttons, which, according to Amazon, has resulted in delivery of 160,000 cups of coffee and 300,000 rolls of toilet paper in the UK.  

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Ask yourself: What is the underlying fear which may be motivating your clients to buy from you? How can you make your product or service easily accessible?  

Time is your friend

Capitalizing on a limited quantity or a limited amount of time will motivate consumers from analysis paralysis into action.  The fear of “this sale ends in 1 day” or “there are only 5 more available” will play into the human nature of immediate action required.  However, there is a caveat – in order to maintain brand integrity you must be honest in your disclosure – this strategy can backfire if for instance the next week the same sale is advertised.  

The online travel site, Travelocity, effectively uses this approach with pop-up windows stating “x amount of people have booked this in the past 48 hours” and “in high demand – only 1 room left at this rate.”  

Ask yourself: how can I create a sense of urgency with my products or services? What is an effective way to convey this urgency to my clients?

The ultimate fear

The ultimate fear for most human beings is death or serious injury/illness.  Which makes safety and health one of the most motivating factors for either ourselves or our loved ones.  Marketing safety (based on fear) is easier for certain businesses (such as healthcare) but can work for most industries with some outside of the box thinking.  

Talk to most middle schoolers and they will probably tell you that they would “just die” if they don’t have the name brand jeans or hoodie that is all the rage.  

Or take a glance at the safety equipment that exists for raising a baby, or protecting your home with digital cameras and talking doorbells.  

One of the pioneers in this marketing strategy was Volvo whose mission since the 1940s has been and continues to be  “driven by saving lives.”  Take a look at Volvo’s campaign where they recruited real people, driving a volvo who survived a car crash to tell their story:

Ask yourself: how does what I am offering solve a problem? Be willing to think creatively and not always literally regarding safety.  How can I communicate this to my clients?

Emotional triggers are compelling – and fear is one of the most powerful. Sometimes, it can be difficult to articulate the fear your brand works to quell and more difficult still to know the best way to communicate your solution. If you’re stuck here, give us a call. We love to troubleshoot brand issues!