Desire and Consumption

How are purchases decided?

‘Desire works like the wind. Without apparent effort. If the sails are spread, it will drag us at breakneck speed. If doors or windows are closed, it will hit for a while in search of cracks or grooves that will allow it to percolate. The desire associated with an object of desire condemns us to it. But there is another form of desire, an abstract, disconcerting one that envelops us like a mood. It announces that we are ready for desire and we just have to wait, once the sails are spread, for the wind to blow. That’s the desire of desiring.’

The previous text, taken from an excellent novel written by David Trueba, “Saber perder” (Editorial Anagrama Publishing House) is a summary of a master lesson of what the concept of desire applied to consumption is and how it works. A lesson of how consumers behave toward it, how the promoter strings of sales work and which are the thinking guidelines we have when we are able to purchase products and services.

The text gives us subtle clues of its behaviour and the evolutionary moments all of us go through as consumers. It alerts and warns us about how we behave toward desire, it gives us clues as to how it comes and uses us. Let’s see some concepts about desire, using different phrases from the previous text as a guide:

1-Triggering desire, a subtle strategy: ‘Desire works as the wind. Without apparent effort.’

Desiring things is typical of human nature; we carry it printed in our DNA, hidden in the remotest corner of our brain. By default, people tend to desire, desire is an evolution driving force.

Activating the springs of ‘desire and impulse’ is one of the fastest roads to the introduction of new concepts. We can desire consciously or unconsciously, we can desire something to look like others or as a way of differing from them. We can desire unconsciously, in spite of having developed defensive strategies for consumption; or we can desire as a way of life.

Desire and impulse buy are closely related. How many of us have bought something that we disregard later? Who doesn’t want to buy an iPad today? Who resists the desire of buying on impulse in the sales?

2-If there is predisposition; desire accelerates consumption: ‘If the sails are spread, it will drag us at breakneck speed.’

We have commented on desire and human nature before, they are closely related and this is why several marketing techniques are focused on it. As consumers, we should question the reason for the purchasing impulse; as bidders of products and services, the right thing is to trigger the desire of human nature improvement.

When a new product or service ‘makes its debut in society’ triggering its desire, it quickly becomes a sales success; when the desire it arouses persists in time, it becomes a classic; this is why many marketing and advertising strategies are focused on this point. The higher the real value, the smaller the advertising effort; the less value or differentiation, the stronger the effort.

3- Desire persists in our mind with its own resources:

‘If doors or windows are closed, it will hit for a while in search of cracks or grooves that will allow it to percolate.’ To the subtlety of desire we should add its persistence; it is always there; patiently waiting for a weakness or deviation of our purchasing principles.

Let’s analyze large surface shelves, peripheries of cash registers, advertisements, shapes of objects or social trends. Everything appeals to the purchasing desire and impulse, waiting for us to lower our guard as a result of being tired of resisting; making up any excuse for our purchasing the item.

There are groups of consumers who are particularly sensitive to the purchasing desire or impulse, children and teenagers constitute an example of them; training them in their defence and use is a synonym of social maturity.

4- Desire is a product itself: ‘The desire associated with an object of desire condemns us to it.’

There are products and services thought out to be objects of desire, basically they appeal to our desire of possessing, using and showing them. That’s their only raison d’être. Without them, luxury, ‘exclusive’ things, would not exist, those things whose value of representation exceeds their value of use.

Consumers who succumb to luxury and its different levels of purchasing power enter into a spiral of consumption and ‘created’ needs. As any addiction, it is not easy to get rid of it.

5-Desire belongs to a stage of social evolution: ‘There is another form of desire, an abstract, disconcerting one… That’s the desire of desiring.’

‘The desire of desiring’ is the highest level of desire and it is parallel to the minimum level of values. There are societies or groups of consumers who live constantly within it. Societies which have made rapid progress moving away from its fundamental and structural values in search of consumer icons; countries like Japan, groups of ‘new rich people’ or some groups of consumers.

Like many other things in life, desire is not good or bad; it depends on how it is used by the person who sends it forth it and the person who receives it, on the education and maturity of ones or the others.

Antoni Flores- CEO Loop-CN




Mª Luisa Vives – Jaime Gross

Welcome! from Loop want to share our projects, our vision, our way of doing things, the success of our customers, our news and those who might be of your interest. In this blog you will find notes on methodology, step by step procedures, tools, techniques, news, case studies, lessons learned, thoughts on creating new business models and above all our enthusiasm for contributing to the success of our customers, which is our success.

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