The other day, while I was fulfilling a six-month checkup, my dentist mentioned he just watched a TV special on shopper marketing and product placement in store and on shelf. To say he was creeped out is an understatement. He thought it a bunch of trickery and deception. Once I regained ownership of my mouth, we furthered the discussion. He said he’d rather buy a product because it felt right for him, not because his brain was supposedly hoodwinked into it. 

Further thought on the topic reminded me of another chat I had recently, on Twitter. I posted a link to a study that showed women are more receptive to gimmicks ( The study used the word “susceptible,” which a follower found harsh, cementing the fact that no one wants to feel fooled when purchasing products.

There’s a lot of science that goes behind getting people to notice and buy products, and yes, some ways do seem a little unfair to unsuspecting shoppers (such as placing kids’ items at their hand level just so weary moms will toss the product into the cart rather than listen to a cry). But one category has managed to remain untouched by these fears of being duped: luxury.

As you know, and can read more about in The Secret behind Luxury Packaging, luxury comes in forms from the wickedly indulgent to minimal and simple. Luxury isn’t a necessity, but it sure can be nice. And people don’t mind purchasing items in the category, because they are driven by emotion. Only after they decide to buy does logic kick in, where they can reason away their choice, making them feel in control of the process. They know there’s still plenty of marketing going on behind the scenes, but they are happily and willing able to suspend disbelief and indulge.

 Do you have or work with a luxury brand? Read Elevating the Everyday to the Extraordinary in our digital edition to pick up more tips on creating that emotional connection with consumers.