The reality is that buyers really do give in to hype almost all the time, as long as it’s done correctly. For the impatient, the main reason that hype works is that we’re human beings and we all love to be sold to. We want to be told a story and we want to feel like we’re special. As such, those with the talent to spin a yarn for customers will always get customers to give in to hype. Now, for those who want the more detailed explanation, here it is:
No One Wants to Be Left Out
It’s a very rare person indeed who isn’t caught up in the moment when something sweeps the nation or the world. Think back for example to the height of the Harry Potter craze. How many people did you know who had never seen one of the movies and had never read or at least attempted to read one of the books? It seemed like every guy and his brother was reading or watching the movies because, let’s face it – the boy magician was everywhere.
The same thing happens when you can get buzz going about any product you happen to have for sale. Everyone seems to want it or own it already and everyone wants to get on the so called bandwagon. This is just simple psychology – most of us want to conform and even those who claim to be non conformists are in fact conforming by non conforming (i.e. the anti Harry Potter people would group themselves together and conform to each other).
Thus, when a product is super hyped, people naturally will get excited about it and want to own it.
I Don’t Want to Miss Out
People in general don’t want to be left out of a deal. No one wants to be labeled as a sucker after all. Therefore, when a product is hyped, people generally will try to get in on it because they think it must be a good deal, after all, so and so said it was a great bargain. This is again simple human psychology at work. We don’t want to lose face by being the only one who was stupid enough not to get in “on the ground floor” of an amazing opportunity.
I Want to Hear a Story
Finally, as I said above, people want to be sold on something. They want to feel as if they’re special and so they will often be taken in by hype, as long as it sounds believable.
One of my favorite old time TV shows is The Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason. This show, which was a spin off from the Jackie Gleason show (if you haven’t heard of him, you are both very young and missing out on of the greatest comedians who ever lived) only aired 39 episodes, but they were all quite memorable.
On the show, Ralph Kramden, Jackie’s character is always getting into trouble. One of my favorite episodes illustrates my point perfectly – Ralph had bought his wife Alice a Christmas present which was a box made out of a few thousand match sticks. He had been told that the box was smuggled out of the home of some Asian prince and the story had sounded so convincing to him that he bought into it. In the end however, it turned out of course that the box was nothing special and a neighbor had purchased the same item for Alice at a five and dime store.
The important point here though was that Ralph was taken in by hype, just as most customers are taken in by hype, because he wanted to hear a good story. It’s all a matter of wanting to feel special and as such, if you are able to make your customers feel special, you’ll find that your hype really will work and you will make lots of sales.