Friday, April 27, 2012

When you think about the purchases you make, do you buy certain things because they were recommended by a family member or a friend? They are tried and true? Or you just could not resist the marketing scheme? This week I wanted to look at the techniques of persuasion used on consumers. The way marketing experts make us go out and spend our hard earned money. Advertisers usually resort to one or more of the following techniques: AVANTE GARDE: The suggestion that using this product puts the user ahead of the times e.g. a toy manufacturer encourages kids to be the first on their block to have a new toy. WEASEL WORDS: “Weasel words" are used to suggest a positive meaning without actually really making any guarantee e.g. a scientist says that a diet product might help you to lose weight the way it helped him to lose weight. PLAIN FOLKS: The suggestion that the product is a practical product of good value for ordinary people e.g. a cereal manufacturer shows an ordinary family sitting down to breakfast and enjoying their product. SNOB APPEAL: The suggestion that the use of the product makes the customer part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style e.g. a coffee manufacturer shows people dressed in formal gowns and tuxedos drinking their brand at an art gallery. BRIBERY: Bribery seems to give a desirable extra something. We humans tend to be greedy. e.g. Buy a burger; get free fries. TESTIMONIAL: A famous personality is used to endorse the product e.g. a famous basketball player (Michael Jordan) recommends a particular brand of skates. WIT AND HUMOR: Customers are attracted to products that divert the audience by giving viewers a reason to laugh or to be entertained by clever use of visuals or language. SIMPLE SOLUTIONS: Avoid complexities, and attack many problems to one solutions. e.g. Buy this makeup and you will be attractive, popular, and happy. GLITTERING GENERALITIES: The glittering generalities technique uses appealing words and images to sell the product. The message this commercial gives, through indirectly, is that if you buy the item, you will be using a wonderful product, and it will change your life. This cosmetic will make you look younger, this car will give you status, this magazine will make you a leader-all these commercials are using Glittering Generalities to enhance product appeal. Are we immune to these marketing techniques? Are our purchases made purely on the basis of value and desire, with advertising playing only a minor supporting role? Marketing specialists know better. Although few people admit to running out and buying something because of an advertisement, surveys and sales figures show that a well-designed advertising campaign has dramatic effects. A logical conclusion is that advertising works below the level of conscious awareness and it works even on those who claim immunity to its message. Ads are designed to have an effect while being laughed at, belittled, and all but ignored. Don’t you find it amazing that those commercials that get on your nerves are the very products that we look at in the stores? Haven’t we noticed that if a child sees a toy enough times they have just got to have it? Even if they don’t know anyone else that has it? Isn’t the holiday season filled with commercials with everything from toys to cars? The newspaper is so heavy with advertisements that you can hardly pick it up! Marketing agents are paid the big bucks to make you spend the big bucks!

Monday, April 16, 2012





You are most likely to succeed in life if you use your talents to their fullest extent. Similarly, you'll suffer fewer problems if you know what your weaknesses are, and if you manage these weaknesses so that they don't matter in the work you do.

So how you go about identifying these strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? SWOT Analysis is a useful technique that helps you do this.

What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward.

If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities you need to advance your career.

Information for this post was extracted from:

Using the Form above will be very helpful.

VALS Online Survey

The purpose of the VALS™ survey is to identify the VALS type of the person taking the survey. That's it. To find out about a person's product ownership, media preferences, hobbies, additional demographics, or attitudes (for example, about global warming), the questions in the VALS survey integrate into larger questionnaires that ask about these topics. For example, the VALS questions integrate into GfK MRI's nationally syndicated Survey of the American Consumer, which enables us to see the media preferences of each of the eight VALS types. The VALS questions also integrate into our own Consumer Financial Decisions' MacroMonitor survey, giving us in-depth information about how each VALS type uses, invests, and saves money.

Your primary VALS™ type is Thinker, and your secondary type is Innovator.
The primary VALS type represents your dominant approach to life. The secondary classification represents a particular emphasis you give to your dominant approach.

Thinkers are motivated by ideals. They are mature, satisfied, comfortable, and reflective people who value order, knowledge, and responsibility. They tend to be well educated and actively seek out information in the decision-making process. They are well-informed about world and national events and are alert to opportunities to broaden their knowledge.

Thinkers have a moderate respect for institutions of authority and social decorum but are open to consider new ideas. Although their incomes allow them many choices, Thinkers are conservative, practical consumers; they look for durability, functionality, and value in the products that they buy.
Favorite Things:
• Subaru
• Kiplinger's Personal Finance
• a glass of wine
• a substantive discussion

Innovators are successful, sophisticated, take-charge people with high self-esteem. Because they have such abundant resources, they exhibit all three primary motivations in varying degrees. They are change leaders and are the most receptive to new ideas and technologies. Innovators are very active consumers, and their purchases reflect cultivated tastes for upscale, niche products and services.

Image is important to Innovators, not as evidence of status or power but as an expression of their taste, independence, and personality. Innovators are among the established and emerging leaders in business and government, yet they continue to seek challenges. Their lives are characterized by variety. Their possessions and recreation reflect a cultivated taste for the finer things in life.
Favorite Things:
• Wired
• sparkling water
• a rewarding experience

Now you know a lot more about me. If you want to take the VALS Survey for yourself, go to:


Friday, April 13, 2012


This posting briefly goes over how social networking affects our daily lives, especially shopping! Let me know what you think about it. Have you ever purchased, or not purchased an item based on what someone had posted on a social network? Have you ever written a review of a product?

This article focuses on how social medial has made the influences that our families, friends, fans and followers have on our buying decisions very powerful. KellerFay, a US word of mouth marketing research consultancy, estimates that there are nearly one trillion conversations about brands every year in the US alone.
The F-Factor – meaning consumers are increasingly tapping into their networks of friends, fans and followers to discover, discuss and purchase goods and services, in ever-more sophisticated ways. (

The most common influences of consumer behavior of the F-Factor are:
1. F-Discovery: How consumers discover new products and services by relying on their social networks. People are interested in what their friends and contacts think, do, eat, read, listen to, drive in, travel to and buy, because often this will be similar to how they want to think, act and buy.
2. F-Rated: How consumers will increasingly (and automatically) receive targeted ratings, recommendations and reviews from their social networks. While consumers enjoy finding the best of the best by discovery, they are increasingly able to access personalized recommendations and reviews on something they know they want to purchase.
3. F-Feedback: How consumers can ask their friends and followers to improve and validate their buying decisions. Consumers actively disclosing their purchasing intentions and reaching out to their friends and contacts for personalized feedback.
4. F-Together: How shopping is becoming increasingly social, even when consumers and their peers are not physically together.
5. F-Me: How consumers’ social networks are literally turned into products and services.

According to, Facebook is currently dominating the F-Factor. Over 500 million active users spend over 700 billion minutes a month on the site; more than 250 million people engage with Facebook across more than 2.5 million external sites; and, the average user clicks the ‘Like’ button 9 times each month (source: Facebook, 2010 & 2011)

What I took from this article was how social media has made the influences that our families, friends, fans and followers have on our buying decisions very powerful. If there are good reviews posted on a social network or a shopping network people are more likely to purchase that product. But, if bad reviews are written, that product is less likely to be purchased. Its amazing how we can take the words of people we have don’t know and make a decision on how to spend our money. I know that I have personally skipped over products on HSN because of bad reviews.

Times have certainly changed for the average consumer! When it used to take all day to go shop around for a particular item or a bargain, you can now do that very same task from the comfort of your own home or on the go if you have a laptop or smartphone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Napkin Cards

I have got the coolest friends. One of my "crafty" friends showed me how to make these cards out of napkins! Yes, regular napkins! How cool is that???

Monday, April 2, 2012

Student Loans

I signed a petition to Rep. John Kline (MN-2), The United States House of Representatives, and 2 others which says:
"Total outstanding student loan debt in America is expected to exceed $1 TRILLION this year. Millions of hardworking, taxpaying, educated Americans are being crushed under the weight of their educational debts, while the economy continues to sputter. Support a REAL economic stimulus and jobs plan. Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170)."

Will you sign this petition? Click here:


Sunday, April 1, 2012


Consumers have always resold large, durable goods like cars and houses. But now, almost anything is resold or traded. “Trading in” is the new buying.

Recommerce is making it easier for consumers to unlock the value in past purchases and also factor in the resale value of items. Consumers are also using the “trade in to trade up” method to ease the financial burdens of making certain purchases and to dispose of items they no longer use in a more environmentally friendly manner.
The three drivers behind the recommerce phenomenon are:

1. NEXTISM – Today’s expectation economy has created a consumer class that expects the “best of the best” in every purchase. These consumers are also driven by the “here-and-now”.

2. STATUSPHERE – Means that many consumers derive status from more than just ownership of the biggest, fastest or shiniest objects, with “new” status being defined by: acquired skills, generosity, connectedness or eco-credentials. A growing number of consumers get their status “fix” from being shrewd and savvy, rather than through conspicuous consumption. Considered consumerism; where it’s smart to get cash or discounts for old or (un)used items, or to dispose of things responsibly.

3. EXCUSUMPTION: The continued instability means more and more consumers make do with less and less. Despite this, consumers remain hungry for a new experience, which makes selling, trading, or exchanging old/unused items a perfect excuse for a smart, new, guilt-free purchase. There are also savvy recommerce-aware consumers who are actively upgrading their consumption: encouraged to purchase or even “invest” in higher quality or premium brands now, knowing that they can be easily and lucratively (re)sold anyway.


Consumers have more opportunities to make the most of items purchased in the past, and purchases they plan to make in the future. Thanks to the internet, which caters to everyone, you can find whatever product or service that you are looking for. It doesn’t matter what country you live in, what your job is, what your income is, you can find what you are looking for! Searches can be performed by location, price, product and/or trade-in.

It’s amazing how technology has reshaped shopping for everyone from teens to senior citizens. It used to be when you were looking for a particular item you would have to go from store to store, now you can go from site to site. It used to impress people how much you paid for an item, now people are impressed with how much you saved.

Get Ready to Learn

Hello everyone! I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but over the next eight weeks I will be posting a lot. Some of it will be crafting, some of it will not. I am in a marketing class and I'm learning how to market myself. So, if you have any ideas and/or suggestions, please feel free to post!

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