Marketing Through Status Roles
Here is something you rarely hear about from marketers! Sales associate strongly with status roles. This may not be immediately obvious but once you spot it, it is hard to see it any other way.
Class and Status
You may have heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses”. It is worth considering for a moment. It is an old phrase, from well before the Internet.
Marketers have been aware status roles are important from the earliest times. It is something we are reluctant to own up to, especially in Britain where we have a lot of anxiety around class.
Class is important, however much we may deny it. In the UK, we are subjects of a monarch, not citizens. We still have gentry as well as new gentry, funding their way through investments and accumulation of wealth.
UK people are conscious of gradations of class and even if we don’t care to admit it, most of us are acutely attuned to signals that mark class.
The connections between class and status are complex. A trade union leader for example may have high status and low-class.
What is important to marketing is our perception of our own status and how it can be enhanced. I feel it myself, in my desire to do training and read books.
How Does Your Offer Address Status?
- Can you think of times when you have made purchases to enhance your status, at least in your own eyes?
- How are your offers likely to influence the status of your clients? Is this explicit or implicit? To what extent might clients consider status when buying from you?
- How could you change your offers to appeal to status change?
Status Roles and Ethics
That people consider status when making purchases is outside of your control. We all do it (except perhaps a few saints, who being saints already have high status!)
Look, I want to be better than anyone else at what I do. I want to be respected for my contribution. When I am respected, I enhance my status. I doubt there is anyone reading this post who can honestly say they don’t experience similar desires. Some argue these are entirely legitimate aspirations.
Given status is important, how should a marketer react? They need to be aware of status. For some, a ruthless appeal to enhanced status increases sales and that’s that. Coaches perhaps take a little more care. Someone who hires a coach solely for reasons of status may not use the resulting opportunities in the most constructive way. You see why the third question is important? What are the implications of appealing solely to status and are you aware of the extent to which you do so?
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