Prison Pecking Order

By Christopher Zoukis In the world outside of prison, everyone wants to know what others do, where they work, how much they make, where and in what type of house they live, what they drive, and the answers to many other personal identity questions which help us to quantify and categorize others. These are social […]

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Marketing: The Quest For Status

By Christopher Zoukis

Selling to affluent men means using language they can relate to psychologically. This translates into talking in the language of the customer. If this is accomplished, the affluent male feels comfortable.

For example, if an affluent male customer enters a jewelry store saying, “May I help you?” is a mistake. Why? Because most men do not enter a store to shop, they enter to buy. They know what they want to buy or at least think they do. Therefore, they do not require help. A more appropriate approach, psychologically speaking, would be to wait until the customer stops to look at something. Then say, “You certainly have excellent taste. This is our highest quality.” This approach opens the door to communication. By listening to verbal cues, the salesperson can then guide the customer in making a purchase.  Photo courtesy motorstown.com

When selling to affluent men, it is important to know the product. Men are impressed with someone who knows what they are talking about. Since men like to get right to the point, it is necessary to ask questions to provide excellent service. Be direct and specific. Only ask for the facts. Then proceed to the bottom line. Affluent male customers tend to tune-out if too much background information is given.

Most men are interested in business, money and sports. Therefore, using analogies and terminology from those areas provides psychological comfort. A confident tone appeals to the male psychology. For it establishes a business-like atmosphere, a zone with which affluent men are familiar.

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Marketing: The Image of Reality

By Christopher Zoukis

In his delightful book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell inadvertently underscores the idea of status when he writes about teenage smokers. Gladwell explains the reason the anti-smoking movement has failed is because the tobacco industry has made smoking cigarettes cool. The anti-smoking movement’s response was to present smoking as uncool. As Gladwell writes, “But that’s not the point. Smoking was never cool. Smokers are cool.”  Image courtesy wallpaperstock.net

In other words, the idea of cool carries status. Status is the goal. Therefore, teenagers smoke, because it provides them with status.

This idea of status and marketing to it is especially true in the toy industry. In fact, The Toy Zone, which is an online site devoted to analyzing the latest trends in toys, states that the toy industry is completely marketing driven. The reason toys are so driven by marketing is because “need” does not sell upscale toys. “Desire” is what sells luxury toys. Luxury toys sell because toymakers instill in children the desire to want to own them. This desire is instilled by means of marketing, which includes:

     ~Affiliation with popular brands and current media products, such as blockbuster movies.

     ~Generating artificial shortages of a luxury toy by limiting production of the toy.

     ~Communicating the idea that ownership of the luxury toy carries popularity and status.

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