50% off

50% off something you had no intention of buying.

Somehow, the marketers find a way to make that sound appealing to the point where we feel like we’re better off spending rather than simply buying nothing at all.

The problem with trying to be relatable

A lot of people build personal brands around ‘the struggle’, being relatable and essentially saying that they are ‘just like you’ (but a little more visible).

People are often drawn to things that they can relate to. It’s comforting to see someone also going after the thing that they are working towards. But if their interest in you is because they feel like they’re like you (often including financially), of course how they feel towards you will change when they can no longer relate.

If you spend time growing a personal brand and a big part of that is you saying you’re just like the people watching, listening to and supporting you, if you’re now regularly shopping from luxury brands, mingling with celebrities, attending events and you’ve bumped yourself up a few tax brackets then you’re clearly not ‘just like everyone else’, your life is now different.

There’s nothing wrong with that at all, I think the issue comes when people try to deny that their life has changed much in order to still be relatable. We’re all aware that a persons financial situation doesn’t mean they don’t go through some of the same things as the average person but it’s okay to acknowledge the other parts of your life too.

With influencers the need to be relatable comes from the fact that it’s easier to sell to people when they feel like you’re just like them rather than when you show up as a millionaire that you are. It’s really just a marketing tactic which I don’t think it necessarily a bad thing. However, it shifts influencers away from being the relatable stranger online who recommends things they’ve used or clothes they’ve worn to instead being just another sales person trying to get you to buy something.

Black Friday deals

Today was black Friday.

It might have been a day where you spent hundreds of pounds or perhaps you bought nothing at all.

There are arguments against the day because it encourages excessive consumerism. On the other hand, it can be a great opportunity to take advantage of the sales and buy things you can’t usually afford or have wanted for a while.

Yet, you may not be getting as good a deal as you think.

A store that had a pair of boots in the sale 2 weeks ago for 35% off may now be selling them for 20% off, except there is now a Black Friday sign flashing at the top of the website.

Granted a discount is a discount but don’t fall into thinking that right now you’re getting the best deal.

Falling for a scam

Consumerism is out to get us.

Or at least that’s how it often feels anyway.

I’ve been noticing emails on my inbox from various retailers with things like last chance, don’t miss out, you haven’t completed your order (which is super creepy in my opinion).

Instead of finding it enticing, I just find it overwhelming, its too much. Often these great deals aren’t even that great and the ‘last chance’ will always come around again.

It’s like a false sense of urgency to try and get you to spend money on things you don’t even really want.

One of the biggest consumerism scams is the discounted items that are equal to or more expensive than the original price.

10% off something that costs £20 isn’t a great deal when yesterday it only cost £15.

Is it so wrong to be influenced?

People make careers out of their ability to influence others.

There’s whole branches of psychology and sections of NLP about how to influence and sway people in whatever direction you desire.

In fact people have the ability to make us feel as though we desire the very thing they have to offer and we believe it so much that we follow that feeling.

We spend money on things we’ve been influenced to buy. We follow the lives of strangers who influence the way we live our lives, the places we go, the way we dress and the products we use.

And sometimes it all seems calculated and sleazy.

You start to question if you really want anything at all.

But I can’t help but wonder, is it so wrong to be influenced?

I think the answer is no.

Of course if you’re spending all your money trying to be like someone else buying things you have no use for and generally have no sense of self you might need to take a step back.

But if you were influenced to read a book that taught you something new or opened your mind up to a new perspective, I think it’s okay.

Once I started earning enough money to buy my own things I realised that my purchases were heavily influenced by a variety of factors, not just people.

Often it’s about how we want to feel or be perceived and the person we are influenced by is likely to resonate that.