Advertising is an efficient way of giving out information about a product or service to a vast number of consumers at once. Advertising aims at persuading a consumer to buy a good or service, and it is usually at the heart of marketing strategies of most consumer good. Although one might say that an advertisement does not influence their decision to purchase a product, at some point in their decision-making process it does play a role. It one one of the most prominent methods employed by manufacturers to get their messages through to their potential buyers.
To achieve this, the adverts have to appeal to some sense on the consumers as not many can listen or evn watch boring ads. Advertising affects what we buy by triggering our buying decisions through its persuasion, informative, emotional appeals and reassurance techniques (Vakratsas 1999). These techniques can be rational, irrational or even both. This essay explores these techniques to determine how advertising affect what a consumer purchases.
As stated above, advertising serves a great purpose of informing consumers of the existence of a product or service that they might be interested in purchasing. Apparently, no one can buy something they do not know exists, therefore, the more people know of it, the more it is likely to sell. Information plays the critical role of educating consumers of a product/brand’s functions and features, benefits, example how they work, their cost and where to find them, and even comparison with a competitive brand (Vakratsas 1999). People tend to make their buying decisions based on the information they have on a brand and therefore, manufacturers make product centered advertisements. This means that it presents factual, pertinent information about the brand based on the knowledge of what is significant to prospective consumer who can accept information as certifiable. The fact that advertising information and fact-based arguments are directly from the manufacturer, people tend to believe it more than any other second-hand details thus using the information to make logic and informed decision. Mostly the informative advertising is rational.
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The other advertising technique that affects a consumer's buying decision is the persuasion technique. The method is also known as transformational or experiential advertising. Unlike the informational way above, that is brand-centered, transformational advertising is consumer-centered. The method mostly uses direct comparison with a competitive brand, with the promise that the brand advertised has a unique experience that cannot be replicated by the competing brands (Sheth 1991). This advertising technique promises a user experience that improves one’s quality of life regarding maybe, more fun, glamorous, satisfying, warmer; and a higher class lifestyle comparing to competitive brands. Transformational advertising directly links the experience to the brand used in that the background and the brand are interconnected, creating the idea that a consumer will have such an experience only by using the brand. Emotional appeals have been another significantly used advertising. This type of advertising uses irrational techniques to substitute impulsive judgment for reason in a consumers’ buying decision-making process.
The impulsive approach relies greatly on consumers’ feeling about a brand or the manufacturer. This technique grows with time by building the consumers trust for the manufacturer or even the advertising company or person. For example, a person who greatly regards and trusts an advertiser is likely to make a decision based on judgment instead of logic (Bargh 2002). An emotional appeal will not be effective if the advertiser is not known or trusted. Therefore, the manufacturer must research on who is regarded and trusted by their target audience before choosing on who will be their advertiser. For example, if a renowned model advertises a cologne or body lotion, the brand will sell because the target audience trusts the advertiser and believe the brand is outstanding. Moreover, a brand can command premium prices once it has well appealed to the consumers’ emotions because people are ready to pay high prices for a brand they trust and attach value. Emotional appeal advertising identifies the brand with a particular lifestyle (Pickett-Baker 2008). Once a person feels that they identify with that specific lifestyle, they will be attracted into buying the brand. When the advertiser can bring that lifestyle out and attach the product to it even if it might not be of that level, the consumer will believe that the product is for them.
In conclusion, the subconscious being is stronger than we might think, and it is what that influences us without our rational person getting aware of it. It is straightforward to control our subconscious being by just triggering a feeling of “this is right”, and this is what advertising does. It gives our subconscious a sense of familiarity that makes the person identify with the product and want it. If you continuously see, let’s say a logo, a color pattern or a product either on the internet, television or the billboard, you tend to like it more or want to know about it better, and it is instilled in our subconscious mind even without the logic mind knowing (Bargh 2002). Example, if you go shopping and see three brands of the same item with o of the brands being the one you have seen on the adverts, the subconscious mind will influence your logic mind into buying it. We prefer services/products we are familiar with, it might be completely irrational, but it works. Advertising creates this familiarity by providing information about the product on its features, functioning, benefits, identifying with a particular lifestyle and class, proving it's trustworthy reassuring the buyer that they are not making a wrong choice purchasing the brand.