Buy-Os- Fear 4

Buy-Os- Fear 4

It’s our own mind that augurs our impulsive buying behavior. Did you ever wonder why everytime you visit a hyper retail, you end up purchasiing more than your actual prior allotted budget? Have you ever wondered, what compels us to buy an additional insurance policy?

We consume because we want to consume. It is our own urge to consume that compels us to incur those additional expenses. Job of marketers is only to encourage that urge among consumers. In retail marketing, it is said ‘your eye level is your buy level’. Hence product placement on humble shelves play a vital role in encouraging buying behaviour. Standees, posters, cutouts, even audio visual presentation at plasma monitors, placed all across the spree often allures or initimidates us to consume. Introduction of small plastic buckets alongwith steel trolleys have significantly facilitated buying behaviour. 

There is also a different kind of positioning  which facilitates consumption. It is by inducing fear factor in consumer minds. Fear plays a crucial role in consumer psyche. Remember, zillion dollar insurance industries solely rely on fear psychosis of the consumers. “what if” I die tomorrow? or “what if” I meet an accident? or “What if” I get dumped by my family in far future? These are basic psychological concerns which drive the entire insurance industry. 

This kind of communications either remind us of our present necessities or triggers our assumptions for its future relevance or it may also promise us an elevated social status at most vulnerable stage of our lives. 

While training marketing professionals, I often tell them that by marketing TG we do not mean any individual but it’s their brain (cognitive behaviour) which actually guides those individuals. In our daily lives, we often like people or irk at some but the truth is that every individual is the product of their brain functioning. So in marketing also we do not communicate with any specific individual but all marketing messages are meant to address their brains. 

Fear psychosis mostly instigates our Reptilian Brain, which directly caters to our instincts and is responsible to induce fight or flight stress in our minds. This part of the brain is deeply located at the bottom of our brain and drives us through our instincts. Buying insurance is like facing the fear or fighting the insecurities with a weapon named, insurance policy. While flight stress teaches us on how to evade an insurance agent. 

Even words or phrases like ‘first come, first serve”, “offer till stock lasts”, “limited edition”, “Hurry”- somehow instigates human minds to behave as the advertisers wish them to do. Fear of getting deprived of the stock or offer motivates their buying behaviour. 
So next time, while planning marketing communications- fear psychosis should not be ignored as a relevant positioning strategy.

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What’s the secret behind every successful marketing campaign?

What’s the secret behind every successful marketing campaign?

Why do some advertisements seizes our attention while others go completely unnoticed? Why do Bula di or the Hutch puppy (named Chika) become the spotlight of the public eye?

When advertising and PR is the spinal cord of every modern businesses, hundreds of company die every year across the globe just because their marketing and advertisements fail to draw public eye.

All advertisements and marketing campaigns are done with the sole objective of creating and changing the perception of respective target groups.

This perception is not something which is passively recorded by our senses but an active process that is construed by different layers of the brain. In other words, we see with our brain, not just our eyes. Sense of vision is our most dominant sense and this is the reason why television has had been our most dominant media since decades. It is estimated that as much as 85% of our perception, learning and cognition are mediated through our sense of sight, and over one third of the brain is dedicated to the processing of visual information.

Accordimg to Douglas Van Praet, “perception is not a simple linear process, but rather an ongoing back and forth comparison between expectations and incoming sensory data.” Human brains procreate a model of the world in their minds and compare incoming information to those models. When the reality that we observe or experience fits our expectations, we pull off our defenses and things become unconscious. So when the world is accurately predicted, we no longer need to pay attention to that information and are freed up to focus our attention on something more relevant or new.
Take for instance, the act of learning to ride a motorcycle. Initially we pay close attention to all the details we need to know before riding a motorcyle. Like for example the use of clutch and brake functions. How to switch the head lamp or indicators. How to switch gear at every cross road or road turn. But once we get accustomed to it, the process becomes unconscious. Though we remain cautious while driving but we no longer need to be aware of all the perceptual input or motor coordination required for riding a motorcycle. In other words we dont need to fiddle with all switches and buttons. Again we become conscious when something unusual happens. We draw brakes when the preceding car does so or the road is foggy enough for our eyesight. This however elucidates a very important aspect of marketing: awareness of our surroundings occur only when the things we expect violate our expectations.

In modern world every consumer is accustomed and resistant to all kind of conventional marketing approaches. Every single consumer brain is cluttered with several personal and professional issues. Modern marketers need to declutter such concerns in order to grab their attentions and implant brand significance in consumer minds. Since human minds have learnt to bypass all marketing advances to their unconscious, seeking human attention have become toughest nut to crack for all marketers.

Therefore, marketing approaches which are distinct or stand out from the rest, do successfully violate our expectations; consequently grabbing our attentions successfully.

All Source, Unconscious Branding.

Also Read: How you are making good employees leave your company?

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How to win over debates?

Debate is all about intellectual exhibition of your knowledge and beliefs. In ancient times debate used to be treated as an effective faculty at King’s court. Debate is a sheer manifestation of sanity and rationality. Nothing seems more appealing than a man/ woman driven by logic and sanity of mind. Since long people with debatable attribute are much in demand in every spheres of life. Be it Socrates, Chanakya, Birbal or even Elizabethan Portia (as described by The Bard himself).

Technically,debate involves more of politics than logic. Dialectic has always been the key for any solemn debate sessions.

This article is intended to suggest some key factors essential to win over any debate sessions.

  • Eye for knowledge: the most essential attribute needed to win over a debate is your inquisitiveness. In a world full of followers, it’s our inquisitiveness that gives us an added advantage over others. Our inquisitiveness helps us to explore spaces of life and our individual minds. Debatable characteristic emerges from the ambit of our individual knowledge and wisdom. Remember, all human brains are hardwired to act or judge as per precincts of their knowledge. So always keep replenishing your mind with more and effective knowledge.


  • Listen: Ears to see, eyes to hear- yes, our ears can do wonders if we could apprehend the virtue of listening. A good speaker is the one who listens. How can you win a debate without being a good listener?


  • Note: Have you ever heard the term “dream incubators”? They are people who love to incubate their dreams for varied reasons. Writing or taking note is the only way how we can incubate our dreams. Most successful entrepreneurs, leaders, bureaucrats have confessed about their habit of taking notes. It’s as good a habit as washing hands before eating. Notes help us to recapitulate, analyze, apprehend, secure and use information for imperative use.


  • Frame: is the dish on which we serve the food, named logic. This is the way how we want to position or place our logic. One of the most crucial aspect of debate is to direct your opposition towards your desired conclusion. Framing helps in channelizing the interaction or monitoring the course of debate. Better the framing better is your chances to nail your opponent.


  • Synthesize: Synthesis is a key attribute which will propel you ahead of your league. During any debate session, we synthesize our knowledge and experience to exploit the thought process of our opponents. It is said that human brain is the only organ in our body which manifests the layers of human evolution. The oldest part of our brain is called reptilian brain which caters our instincts, followed by limbic brain guides our feelings and emotions. While the outer most layers is called neo cortex, it is responsible for rational thinking and actions. While debating we synthesize our knowledge and experience in a way that will affect these aforementioned brain layers of our opponents.


  • Deliver: This is the most crucial factor of any debate sessions. As no matter how logical you are or how good research had been- unless you deliverance is appealing, you can never win a debate sessions. Every interaction or debate sessions is a one is to one bargaining game, where the dominant player is most likely to win the game. Hence, domination of your opponent can augur you further towards your triumphant glory. You may do this by proper voice, intonation, body language, pronunciation and eye movement. People listen to what you say, but to make a people think give a pause amidst your sentences. These pauses make your listeners analyze and apprehend your sentences. Even there are techniques like palm down gesture and sudden glance at the top hairline of your opponent often plays a significant role in rob your opponent off his/ her confidence.


  • Show Gratitude: ‘Thank you’ when combined with a smile is said to have a tremendous psychological impact on the person saying it or the person for whom the gratitude is meant to be. Gratitude is said to be the primeval virtue possessed by all leaders. So in order to prove your worth.



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Buy-O- Logical part- 3

“Call him “Buddha”, he who can refrain himself from this eternal cycle of necessity.”

We all are obliged to this perpetual cycle of necessity. Be it the CEO/ CFO/ CIOs of multinationals or daily wage earners working at construction sites, we all succumb to this eternal cycle. This is what that drives most of the daily consumptions across the globe.

With the exception of those who make their living as purchasing agents  or secret shoppers, no one is a professional customer. Rather they are professional engineers, accountants, HR managers, customer service representatives, CEOs or whatever. They are as normal as you and me. They laugh, they cry, they frown, they fart- hence we all are equally vulnerable while buying.

Who buys an Inuit costume in scorching Indian summer?

No, one buys anything but solution to their problems. I need to look good and confident, hence I bought a formal shirt made of imported cotton fabric and a pair of stone embellished cuff links. I’m planning to go for a trek- I need a pair of shoes to withstand the climate and rough terrains, so I should buy one. Likewise, hunger makes us buy food; thirst makes us buy drinks. We do not buy anything that doesn’t align with our own necessities.

So what if we tamper the ambit of these necessity cycle? No brownie for guessing. Results will be outrageous. 

So what do we actually buy/ consume?

We consume food, we consume clothing, we consume shelter, we consume internet, we consume entertainment, we consume information, we consume education, even we consume the habit of consumption itself (read window shopping). In countries like India we consume politics and political leaders as well. Personally I believe elections are more like weekly  haats (Mandis), where in every five years, people from myriad backgrounds and political communities display their products (candidates) through every possible media to seek our support. Inarguably, for us voters- this is also a form of consumption, guided by our inherent buying behaviour. We trust the candidature as much as we trust the actors (with stethoscope) in a toothpaste commercial.

Who buy, who sells?

“Although we each have different titles and responsibilities in this company, we are really all in sales, we need to think like salesman” – extract from Think like your customers by Bill Stinnet.

Irrespective of our individual designation or industry we work for, we all are both consumers as well as selling agents at the same time. We sell ourselves to buy products and services sold by others. I sold myself at job interviews so that after getting the job I can buy products or services sold by someone else. 

Now take a deep breathe and try to recall the last time you came out of a supermarket/ hyperretail without exceeding your predetermined shopping budget.

Yes, the additional expense that you incurred at the supermarket is due to impulsive buying. Lions share of your daily consumption is guided by your subconscious mind. As an advertising professional, I always preferred to appease my customers’ subconscious mind instead of his rational thought process. I bet, knowingly or unknowingly every successful marketing professional does the same. Rational mind restraints us from superficial enlargement of this necessity cycle. It seeks logic over our urge to consume, while subconscious mind negates all logic before buying anything which is beyond our necessity cycle.

So how does advertisements or marketing professionals instigate our subconscious? What are the other influencers that compel us to buy? To know more about consumer behaviour and buying patterns, follow the blog series named Buy-O-Logical.

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Buy-bell (Prologue)


If you have read the cover story of Buy-O-Logical, you must be knowing that this blog series is just assumptions, completely based on my own experience and apprehensions as an advertising professional. As the cover title was inspired from the bestseller by Martin Lindstrom, we owe our gratitude to the legendary researcher.

We all know the root cause of consumption is nenecessity, Buy-O-Logical will gradually unravel the mystery that drives our buying behaviour. It will vastly delineate the logic, necessity and societal belief systems which promote consumption. It reveals all possible situtations in which we succumb to our desire for spending. How our friends, family and society instigate our individual buying habits.

This is a journal series based on practical experiences and case studies from large and small business houses. Buy-O-Logical lends an unique perspective to both consumers and sellers about the intricacies and intrinsic logic that we deal with before buying.
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When do we buy? 

When we need it.

When he/she says that we need it. 

When they say that we may need it. 

I believe, no ism unites us more than consumerism.

Buy-O- Logical is an independent attempt by #Asksubho to unearth the deepest drivers of human psychology and logic which drives human behaviour, consequently fuelling the frenzy named- Consumerism.


“Though my decade long stint in advertising and audio visual media has not ensured me a fortune but it did confer me with indelible understanding of human psyche and behaviour.” –Subhadip Ghosh.

Buy-O-Logical is a deeper introspection of human psyche and consumer behaviour in India. It is an attempt to unravel the intinsic logic of consumption in India. A nation with over 1.25 billion population is fast becoming the hub of global businesses and corporates. Buy-O-Logical is a series of blogs starting with a prologue followed by 7 articles and an epilogue to encapsulate the philosophy behind consumer India. We hope you will find them relevant and intriguing.

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