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Why we buy

Jaden was pretty pleased about his birthday. The party had something to do with it. So did the gifts he got. Post the celebrations he did something that comes naturally to most of us. He took out one his toys, a remote controlled race car into the corridor to show it off to his friends.

The reaction to Jaden’s ‘display’ was understandable. Envious, the others boys responded. One such response by a kid was to counter with his own set of ‘new’ toys. Another was to try and crash Jaden’s car beyond repair so it could be immobilised.

Envy is a good and a bad thing. The good is what prompts us to strive for more so we can counter conspicuous displays that get bandied about in our face. The bad prompts us to go the destruction route. We try and covet what isn’t ours, or at least not allow for others to have what they have. The talkative amongst us take the ‘bitching’ ventilating route .

Now most of marketing taps into envy, I believe in a good way. Much of marketing as much as it presents to us value propositions that fulfil needs, also prompt us with promises of greater esteem. The latter taps into our sense of envy. On our part, we keep ourselves intact in our heads and manage envy by doing what marketers want us to do.



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