A mom, a dad and two boys walk pass old navy and into Michaels.  A few moments later they stop to donate money to the local pet rescue agency.  Without a second thought they reach down to pet a chocolate boxer lab mix and move on to the next destination.

Somehow a puppy ends up with a new home.  Now please tell me how a 2 and 6 year old manipulated their parents into a new pet?  Still shaking my head to empty the cobwebs out that seem to cloud my memory bank of this experience.  I know I was there but I am having a hard time explaining it to myself.

The more likely scenario includes mom and dad falling into the trap of clever marketing techniques.  As we complete our shopping for the last four days before the holiday, I feel it’s necessary to acknowledge two clever marketing techniques that can empty your wallet.

1.  Visual heartstrings

There was something about the photo collage of four helpless puppies that made many families stop to check out the adoption event.  I can’t help but think that none of us had the plan to walk over and actually adopt, I believe we each wanted to give a little love and encourage others to take one home.  It was probably more like we were curious and had no actual thoughts or intents but then if that was really the case, I would have to admit that I am a sucker for sad puppy dog eyes.

While the picture and crowds caught at least my initial interest. It was the visual of seeing the puppies snuggled up to each other like no one else could protect them but each other.  One by one they were adopted and we couldn’t fathom one of them being left alone without no one to love them.

That’s the power of a visual representations, they allow the viewer to insert their own observations while also associating oneself with what is right in front of them.

2.  Emotional heartstrings

Compelling story lines that tug at the part of our hearts which make us dig out our wallets.  The storyline we succumbed to detailed the needs of the rescue organization along with the sad puppy faces displayed in the photo collage.

The difference in emotional & visual marketing is that the emotional component can help override the brain when it says keep walking! The brain says, “don’t buy that!” while the heart says, “turn around and take a second look.”

I know! I know! This is the time of year that fills us with gratitude and thanksgiving .  It makes us want to give to those who are less fortunate while also extending additional grace and empathy to those we care for.  We want to make their wishes come true.

If you are finished with your shopping – great for you.  Congratulations!  If you procrastinated and still need to shop, do not succumb to the power of visual and emotional marketing.  Remember, this holiday season comes one time a year but the bill can last for months.

Try not to incur extra expenses that it results in a delay in working on your “it.”

Til next time,

“It’s difficult to follow your dream if you are still paying for fulfilling someone else’s wish.” – themidaproject.com

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