No one is surprised to hear that marketing strategists are always finding new ways to convince us to buy stuff that we do not need; consumerism would be nothing without this idea.

 

In today’s world, we are surrounded by marketing ploys that tell us what is in and what is out. The magic of marketing lies in its ability to make us feel worthless if we do not have this product, look a certain way, or believe what we are buying does not come with a cost to anyone or anything.

 

The beauty industry is notorious for making women believe they need to buy a certain product in order to look younger, more refined, and flawless. The desire to feel beautiful, however, is not the problem; the problem resides in the idea that there is only one way to define beauty.

 

For instance, the phrases “reduce wrinkles” or “strips away 10 years” have become so embedded into our way of thinking about beauty that we do not even question why we feel the need to live up to these standards. In the west, there is the obsession with being tan. In the east, we have an obsession with being white. It is these ideas that companies focus on, and make millions and millions of dollars from its consumers.

 

The food industry is another area where marketers are extraordinarily clever. Today, more and more people are demanding organic and farm fresh food. Knowing that the majority of people will not question the label “Farm Fresh” or “Natural,” these phrases are used on thousands of packaging labels to make the buyer believe what they are buying is from the local farm down the road. In reality, most of those “farm fresh” foodstuffs one buys, does come from a farm, but one where animals are kept inside and in close quarters.

 

We are easily convinced that what we are buying is wholesome and necessary. However, when purchasing, it is important to question whether or not what we are buying actually is a necessity, or will make us feel more complete. If the answer is no, question the real reason you were tempted to buy it in the first place. Was it out of a particular need? Or did you fall victim to the magic of marketing?

 

What are your thoughts on brands and marketing? Let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich