The entire marketing industry was developed to exploit the fact that the average consumer isn’t very bright. Don’t laugh too quickly here as we are all average consumers. I like to refer to marketing as business psychology. After all there really is something a little less than rational about the way we go about shopping. I like to think that as a marketing guru, I am less likely to be fooled, but I know that I too make decisions without really connecting the dots sometimes.
Case in point: The “tax free holiday” that the state has for back to school supplies and clothing. WOW, a whole 7 percent savings. And the people, they shop like they just won a lottery.
None of us gets excited when a store has a 10 percent sale. Why? Because we know that 10 percent is just a very small drop in the bucket. Stores these days run ads for 50 percent and even more. So what causes all of the excitement? Good question and you’ve come to the right source for your answer … you’re beacon of enlightenment.
Here it is, in my opinion, which I respect. It’s all about “STICKING IT TO THE MAN.” That’s your answer. We are all so tired these days with all of the taxes we have to pay, and with so many from the left telling us we need to pay even more, along with all of the pleas for another penny for roads, the arts, education etc. that this very small opportunity to get away without having to pay taxes gets us all excited.
Why don’t businesses understand this simple approach and make a marketing campaign surrounded by this notion? This would be much cheaper than the very high discounts mentioned earlier, just say, “We the retailer (who we the public also scorn as big business and therefore hate) will pay the taxes for you.” Wouldn’t this make the less than bright consumer happy? We could stick our share of the sales tax on the big business villain, where so many think it should be anyway.
Complete happiness and bliss will then follow, joy to the world. We could end up actually paying more but we could stick it to the man.
Mike Brennan is a business teacher at Bartow High School.