Customer Manipulation

Customer Manipulation


TOC o “1-3” h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc377252397 h 1Movies PAGEREF _Toc377252398 h 2Celebrities PAGEREF _Toc377252399 h 3Blogs PAGEREF _Toc377252400 h 4Media influence PAGEREF _Toc377252401 h 5Peer pressure PAGEREF _Toc377252402 h 6Music industry PAGEREF _Toc377252403 h 7Internet Usage PAGEREF _Toc377252404 h 8Gifts PAGEREF _Toc377252405 h 9Brands PAGEREF _Toc377252406 h 9Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc377252407 h 10

IntroductionDuring the industrial revolution, there was no intimate relationship between production and consumption of commodities. Producers had no means of persuading consumers and consequently; they produced mass products and depended on mass consumption of goods. When there was the advent of technology, all of this changed and producers were now able to reach out to consumers regardless of where they resided. It was great and both the producers and consumers benefited from the existence of such a mechanism. This is because while manufacturers were able to reach out to a large number of consumers, buyers on the other hand were aware of the existence of various commodities and were able to make informed choices (Andersson, 2004). However, that did not last for long as the manufacturers used the same technology to exploit consumers. As a result, the ability of consumers to make informed decisions dwindled and producers manipulated the choices they made.

Focusing on the fashion industry, marketers go to all lengths at ensuring that they sell their products. Initially, advertisements were just to try to keep the business afloat and acquire a competitive advantage over competitors. However, marketers are now changing strategies and are engaging in more crafty ways of attaining more customers. They use the internet, social networking, celebrity figures, movies, music, and fashion shows to make consumers buy products unwillingly. Peer pressure seems to be the most effective method where the fashion industry uses known figures in a society to incite others into buying their products. However, peer pressure mostly affects youths since, advertisements present people perceived to be “cool” doing something and thereby inciting their age mates to follow (Andersson, 2004). Therefore, it is evident that youths are buying products they do not like but have to own so as their peers can accept them into their groups.

MoviesThe usage of movies in the fashion industry is growing with actors wearing designer clothes to advertise them. However, latest news indicates that there is another way of manipulating consumers into buying products they do not need. Designers understand that various people have varying tastes but when it comes to movies, many people share a favorite actor. Hence, currently designers are using those actors in their short fashion films. Dior and Chanel are both engaging famous actors in movies about fashion and the directors of the movies are big names in the industry. Guy Ritchie, David Lynch, and Martin Scorcese are example of directors that the fashion industry is using to make short films about fashion (Smith, 2005). Designers use fashion movies to indicate what is acceptable and what the public should reject. Stakeholders ensure television stations televise the programs and hence they receive audience all over the world and consumers buy the concept.

Once a considerable number consumer buys into the concept and the so-called “Fashion gurus” accept the concept the rest fall in place. Nonetheless, characters in these movies have the most impact on the consumers since they want to dress like their favorite actors. As a result, consumers end up buying products not because of interest but rather due to the strategies that fashion managers employ. Example of fashion movies airing currently include “Gucci Guilt” directed by Frank miller, David Lynch’s “Lady Blue Shanghai”, and finally Bleu de Chanel whose director is Martin Scorcese. Airing these movies gives the reason why consumers should wear certain clothes or use given colognes. Therefore, influences from favorite actors and directors are causing consumers to buy products that they would otherwise reject. Hence, it is evident that the level of manipulation from marketers is rising as days go by and they are not about to stop given the new strategies they are using.

CelebritiesAnother way that the Fashion industry is reaching out to people is by the use of celebrities and figures that people can relate. Previously, it was easy for the marketers to use the “Buffy six-pack Joe” or the lean models but the aging among the baby boomers and maturing of the Gen Xers is changing all this. Hence, the usage of celebrities in the industry is the new way of attracting more consumers (O’Cass, 2000). One of the recent advertisement by Emporio Armani featured Beyonce while on another one is Julianne Moore in a picture carrying two curbs in an advertisement for luxury brand. Luxury brand uses Moore strategically given her age and customers are likely to do what Moore does. She is the same age with most of the baby boomers and a household star. Consequently, her endorsement of products will not only see them buy it but in large volumes. This is not because the consumers like products from the brand but because they adore Moore.

Celebrities are as a result kicking out models in the advertisement industry no matter how expensive they are. In most cases, using models is cheaper than the usage of celebrities but unfortunately, people are rarely interested in models. Gucci had to use Donald Trump in one of their advertisement and even though the no actual price tag placed on the advertisement, estimation indicates that it was too expensive. Being a billionaire many will classify the products he uses as classy even though that is not true. Hence, Gucci will sell such products at exaggerated prices even when their production price was low to continue the myth. Consequently, customers wanting association with class will wear such clothes not because they are classy or that they want them but simply because a billionaire wore them. Hence, the level of manipulation cannot be anymore than that from the fashion industry.

BlogsBlogs are the new marketing strategies. Marketers of all sort of products are using blogs to manipulate their buyers. They will use blogs that have many followers to advertise their products through bloggers of the sites. However, the fashion industry is ahead of the game in using blog advertisements with the advent of fashion blogs (Smith, 2005). Designers are expressing satisfaction and happiness at the extent fashion blogs is assisting them to acquire more customers. According to the words of Pulitzer Prize a fashion writer, blogs are the new democracy in the fashion industry. However, many individuals question the statement with other arguing that they are dictators of the fashion industry and that consumers have no option but to do, as the fashion blogs require them lest people stigmatize them. Unlike television and magazines, bloggers update their blogs hourly or after some minutes dictating to people what to wear and what to avoid wearing.

Examples of the fashion blogs include Heather and Jessica, Budget Fashionita, and Manolo the Shoe blogger. Dailies around the country frequently give space to this bloggers in their magazines and publications hence enhancing their strength. Marketers in the fashion industry are using these blogs to advertise their products (O’Cass, 2000). Since most of the bloggers are individuals having experience in the fashion industry, people are bound to believe them regardless of whether they are lying or telling the truth. It is currently in the culture of many people to follow blogs, most will wake up each day, and the first thing they do is visit their favorite blog. Bloggers and the fashion industry are taking advantage of this and manipulating people into buying products they do not require. They will dictate to them what is good to wear to work and what is good to wear to dinner and currently people are buying into these concepts. Consequently, many end up dressed up in ways they do not believe they should nor like.

Media influenceNot only is the media dictating how people should look it is also influencing how people should dress. Currently, there are media houses whose major interest is the fashion industry like the Paris based fashion television (Evans, 2007). In these television stations, young models walk the runways wearing the accepted clothes depending on the season. Not every girl wants to be “sexy” or do all boys want to be “cool” but if he/she does not acquire those tags their peers will stigmatize them. Stations not having the primary goal of fashion have their own fashion television programs. An example of such a television show is Project Runway whose aims seem to promote designer but secretly manipulating the viewers. Though the fashion industry is not the only segment of the economy manipulating their customers, it takes the largest share.

Programs in television are on daily basis stressing on what people should wear out on an evening or on a wedding. Failure to follow stipulations from such advice leads to people viewing others differently. Hence, in order to fit into the society people have to comply with the provided guidelines. Media especially television is receiving the largest consumption and when tourist visit remote areas they cannot believe it when they find a family glued to a television set (Kim, Damhorst & Lee, 2002). Consequently, the usage of television in its endeavors seems timely on the part of the fashion industry, since many people currently believe most of the things that they see on television. An example is that even though fast foods are unhealthy due the number of advertisements on television people end up eating them regardless of the implications. The same case applies to the fashion industry and people will wear anything that the media recommends to them.

Peer pressureRecently, teenagers are grouping themselves into small identifiable groups according to their likes and dislikes. There are teens who will like listening to hip-hop music and dress accordingly while others listen to Rock music and have their own way of dressing. In many ways, marketers are identifying themselves with such groupings so to sell them products. From food to beverages, marketers are using leaders of such groups to make them buy their commodities. In the 80’s, the bicycle industry indentified itself with the black community consequently, using African-Americans in most of their commercials (Fuss, 2003). Therefore, this era show many black people start using bicycles even when they were in a position to buy motor vehicles. The fashion industry also did take keen note of the groups especially among the youths and manipulate them into buying products that they do not need (Davis, 2000).

Youths listening to hip-hop music like to wear oversized clothes and have many ornaments commonly referred to as “Bling”. By indentifying with these groups industries, selling ornaments were able to make new stuff and convince them to buy them using the peer pressure within such groupings (Davis, 2000). All that they had to do is indentify the key members of such groups and use them to market the products since most of the other youngsters will follow what others are doing. Consequently, such youths are passive and have no ability to make sober decision leading to the conclusion that their peers manipulated them. However, this is not without considerable amount of support from the key players of such industries. Peer pressure is also existence among the older folks who will wear clothes because their idols are wearing those clothes. Hence, the fashion industry is currently shifting its focus to the baby boomers whose numbers are rising steadily.

Music industryThe music industry is providing the fashion industry with a better platform to manipulate consumers. Before the 1980, the music industry identified itself with the fashion industry and musicians wore designer clothes to indicate their status as a result influencing more people to buy their music. However, today the scenario is different in most cases occurring the other way round. An example is Tizziano Ferro in a music video with Brandy wears Gucci clothing. In this particular music video, Gucci did dress the artist so that any time fans of the artist have the interest of buying the clothes that he wear will buy them from the designers. The strategy is not synonymous to Gucci and Dior uses musicians like Beyonce to market their products (Tredre & Polan, 2009). Consequently, fans of Ferro or Beyonce will buy such clothes not because they like them but because they are in their favorite music video. This is an indication that things are changing and the fashion industry is indentifying itself with music videos and not the other way round.

Another strategy is identifying cloth lines with certain musicians. Currently, many designers are using musician names to market their products. Sean John is an example of designer clothes using musician names to market their products (Evans, 2007). Hence, fans of Sean John will act as the marketers of these clothes whether knowingly or unknowingly. However, musicians are also realizing the potential they have at manipulating other people and are as a resulting using their influence to market their own designer clothing (Craik, 2009). Rapper Jay-Zee is one of them with his Rocka-A-Fella label that he constantly promotes. In the new waves of customer manipulation, such musicians have found another source of wealth. Indications are that though key players in the fashion industry like Gucci claim that using music is a harmless way of attracting more customers it is evident that the intentions are otherwise (Craik, 2009).

Internet UsageMany people are currently addicts of the internet in most cases the social networking sites. Unknowingly to users, marketers are using new ways off attracting buyers. Many people understand that the only way entrepreneurs advertise their products in the social networking sites is through the pop up advertisement, which is not true. They are instead creating groups and events that people will like and possibly attend (Tredre & Polan, 2009). Guinness has a fan page and many may think that the minds behind that the groups are just some Guinness-loving fellow. However, the people managing such pages are expert marketers whose bid it to see more consumption of the beer to the advantage of their companies. Many industries are engaging themselves in the social networks for the same benefits. Accordingly, the fashion industry is not alone and is a key player at ensuring they market their products using the internet. Many are coming up with fan pages to manipulate buyers into buying their products and are succeeding at it.

It is an accepted fact that individuals manipulate others into doing things they do not like through the internet. Designers are manipulating more people and largely to buying their clothing. Most of the fan pages will advice users on what to wear at different occasions so that other people can view them as smart people (Kim, Damhorst & Lee, 2002). The most affected members of the society are the youths keeping in mind that they are the largest users of the internet and subsequently the social sites. This is the reason many will end up dressing in ways that look ridiculous making them the laughing stock of their peers. However, they do not dress the way they do because they like it but some marketer somewhere uses them as the test subjects of some new products and the results are sometimes disastrous. Gucci, Dior, and Chanel all have such fan pages and even though they might not claim ownership, the intentions of the pages clearly indicate those behind it.

GiftsWalking into any stores in any given city of this country, you are likely to see offers placed on some items. In some cases, you buy one product and another and the store adds another free of charge while in others, you buy a given product and another essential product is wrapped around the one a person is buying (Fuss, 2003). Given economic hardships that are currently, hitting the globe this seems very attractive to the customers. Since when they buy a packed of sugar they get a can of high quality tea saving some cash intended for the tea. In any of the Dior store most of the products they sell will have another gift and guests to this store will find it hard to resist buying the products. Hence, the consumer buys the products not because they want such products but due to the offer, it comes with. Discussed herein is another way in which marketers are able to manipulate consumers into buying products that they do not want.

BrandsConsumers of varying products are loyal to their brands and will buy any product provided they come from the label. However, many companies are selling their brands to other firms allowing them to produce substandard products under the same label. Hence, consumers have the notion that their label is selling products at a cheaper price while they buy products from other manufacturers (Tungate, 2008). Private brands are the reason for this confusion, the menace is sneaking into the fashion industry, and Chanel is the latest victim. The market especially in the developing world has many substandard Chanel products. As a result, marketers are manipulating consumers into buying products that they do not want. Fashion magazines try to clear out the darkness for the consumers but notably, not all customers of such products read those magazines and hence, the continue buying products they do not intend to use. However, though Chanel maybe seen as the most affected others like Gucci and Dior are also allowing substandard products having their label into the industry (Tungate, 2008).

ConclusionIt is evident from the discussions herein that manufactures of various products are continually manipulating consumer into buying products they do not need. Hence, the objective of the marketers is not to meet the needs of their customers but rather to increase revenues for their companies (Gibbons, 2005). They use a number of ways to manipulate the consumers from media to internet and using social psychology to manipulate customers into buying the products. The fashion industry is also a key player at manipulating their customers. They understand the social ideologies existing within a given setting and use them to manipulate consumers of the products. Consumers unknowingly or knowingly end up buying products they do not need at all for a varied number of reasons.

In discussion herein, are a number of ways manufacturers are using to achieve the objective of increasing revenue by having more sales. The impact is that they become more aggressive with their strategies affecting the choice of customers. Ways in which a person should dress are in the media every passing day and those not ready to comply suffer the consequences. Accordingly, people are buying products for fitting into their peer groupings and not because they need commodities. The most affected segment would be the fashion industry given the tastes imposed on individuals without their consent. By manipulating existing demographics such as the love of music videos and artists, actors, and celebrity figures, they are able to meet their objective of increasing sales at the expense of the consumers (Gibbons, 2005).


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