Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry…sound like your wish list? Well if you’re answering with a vehement ‘YESSSSS’, chances are that you belong to the fairer sex (exceptions are possible but not the rule). If these words sound like hard to pronounce gibberish to you, then you probably belong to the lesser known race that does not understand the nuances of the luxurious world, the world that you know as ‘burns a hole in my wallet world’!
Welcome to the women’s mind. You’re welcome to stay as long as you please just don’t give your suggestions or ask questions about why we are this way when it comes to shopping. Do that and you should be good to go! The world of women’s shopping has always been a subject of understanding and analysis for many- those who sell want to understand how to get them to buy, those who buy want to understand why do they buy?? To simplify the whole thing, this is a fascinating world and the pathways it opens to understanding human beings(albeit just a part of it- a significant part nonetheless) are immense.
I remember watching the movie ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ and wondering about how real it was! The feeling you get when you see a ‘sale’ sign, or when the most beautiful shoe in the world beckons you from the store window! I think you would have guessed by now that I happen to be part of the believers as well, and part of the fairer sex that believes in the magic of shopping! It is precisely this fact that has encouraged me to think, time and again, that for all the power of advertising…do people really need it? Especially when it comes to women. Is it advertising that does the trick? Do you really need to spend astronomical amounts of money on popularizing something that they would end up buying nonetheless?
Interesting questions aren’t they…let’s try and look for their answers. As far as I know, shopping today is no more result or purpose oriented. Huge disposable incomes, a flurry of brands and a lot lot of pretty things to lure you…no more is it about going out and getting that one thing that you set out to get. Today, shopping is an experience. It is an escape from reality, it is a feeling of contentment after a long day’s work. For many people, sadly so, shopping is even a sign of love- self love but who knows the difference anymore. In such a scenario, it is important that those clever people out there, who decided to make a quick buck by palming off pretty things to unsuspecting rich guys and gals, know how and what to do. If they are not one step ahead of the game, they might as well just quit right away.
This is where advertising comes in. It is possible that women are shopaholics but then the trick is in getting them to choose you over the many others that call out to them. The many Vogue’s and Cosmopolitan’s of the world are not doing amazing business for nothing. What are they if not large catalogues for expensive brands? Do they sell you trends or do they sell you the want to be part of those trends? And once they manage to entice you into being part of that brigade they ensure that you can find how exactly how to find all those things that they got you to crave for in the first place.
Advertising is just the tip of the ice berg. It’s not necessary that you need to see a cleverly placed advertisement in the newspaper it know that you want it, it could be a nicely dressed mannequin in the shop window, or a catchy billboard hanging over the highway where your car gets stuck each day in the traffic jam. Though they might not make you buy instantly, they act as little viruses that enter your mind and work there till they get you down and under, dying to buy that one hand bag that would solve all your aches and pains, hypothetical of course.
So for all those people who think that women don’t need advertising to get them to buy, aren’t you grossly mistaken! For advertising is around us every minute of every day. And all that talk about being unable to understand why women shop so much is quite unnecessary as quite obviously, it’s not even our fault! Blame it on the pretty magazine cover or the bombardment of subtle messaging all around us, even when you least expect it. In reality it’s the men who want to join us…and to all the skeptics out there…reality check! Most of them already have!