Why Some Businesses Should Consider Using Products That Manipulate Us

I’m not sure why it is, but I can’t seem to escape conversations about how businesses manipulate us. People ask me all the time: “Is that product really good for me? It seems like it might be bad for my health.” 

And I’ll admit, I’m usually a bit annoyed by this question. But then I start thinking about these conversations in a different way. If we’re spending so much time talking about how products manipulate us, doesn’t it mean we should be more aware of that fact? 

Shouldn’t we actively look out for ways products try to take advantage of us? Maybe even go out of our way to avoid those types of situations where they might happen? 

After all, if you don’t know what something is doing to your brain chemistry when you’re using it, then how can you make informed decisions about any kind of purchase not just food or drinks but also cars and clothing items too! 

So today let’s talk about some ways products can manipulate us and some ways they don’t always have our best interests at heart (and why).

Psychological Manipulation in Advertising – YouTube

Certainly! Here’s a single-column takeaway table based on the blog title “Why Some Businesses Should Consider Using Products That Manipulate Us”:

Key Takeaways
1. Understanding consumer psychology can guide businesses in creating products that resonate with subconscious desires.
2. Ethical considerations are crucial when employing manipulative techniques, as transparency and respect for consumer autonomy are vital.
3. Neuromarketing insights can help design products that evoke emotional responses and drive purchasing decisions.
4. Balancing manipulation with genuine value and benefit ensures long-term customer trust and satisfaction.
5. Building consumer relationships based on authenticity and meeting genuine needs is a sustainable approach in the marketplace.

“I Don’t Like How This Product Makes Me Feel In The Moment”

At the moment, you might think a product is making you feel something good. As you’re using it, it feels like it’s working for your benefit and helping you reach your goals. 

That’s what we call utility, or the ability of a product to help us do something we want to do: in this case, makes us feel happy, inspired, or energized.

But what happens when we look at products through a longer lens? We can sometimes realize that they may not be as great as they first seemed and their long-term effects might even be harmful! 

If we take these negative side effects into account, then maybe thinking about only how something makes us feel “at the moment” isn’t enough anymore we also have to consider how it will affect our lives over time.

Understanding the secrets of persuasion involves delving into the realm of neuroscience, where the intricate workings of the human brain shape our decisions and preferences.

“It’s A Terrible Product”

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard that the product is everything. Sure, having a great product is essential to your business’s success but your product will only get you so far if it doesn’t manipulate people in ways that make them want to buy it.

If your customers have access to lots of information about the products they buy (i.e., they are educated consumers), they can easily tell when something is not worth their money. 

And if that happens often enough, those customers will start avoiding your brand altogether because they think all of your products suck!

Here are some examples of why some businesses should consider using products that manipulate us:

“I Don’t Think A Product Should Manipulate Us”

“But I don’t think a product should manipulate us.”

You’re right. The problem is not the product. Instead, it’s how we use it. Sure, some products do manipulate us, but they aren’t inherently evil; they just need to be used in the right way.

To understand what I mean by this distinction let me give you an example: A knife can be used to cut bread or kill someone (intentionally or not). 

If you cut bread with a knife and end up getting hurt yourself then obviously its misuse by you makes sense when considering how it’s being used as an instrument of violence against others but that doesn’t make all knives evil or dangerous because they’ll inevitably harm people if misused in such circumstances.

“Why Would Companies Want To Manipulate Us?”

Consumers are more likely to buy products that have a story behind them. For example, if you’re looking for a new pair of jeans and you come across a pair made by an independent designer who is donating half of her profits to charity.

Those jeans are going to be more appealing than the same pair made by another company. It’s not just because you’re doing some good by buying them; it’s also because they make you feel good about yourself.

This isn’t just limited to apparel: every industry has products that offer this kind of story. The toy industry knows we want toys with stories behind them (just look at Disney).

And so they create elaborate backstories for each character in their movies or TV shows and market those products accordingly. 

You can find similar tactics in other industries as well food companies will tell you where their ingredients are sourced from; car manufacturers tell us about how much research went into making our cars safe for driving on city streets; 

Pet food producers tell us about how our pets love eating their products due to their high-quality ingredients…

Effectively employing neuromarketing techniques can gently guide consumer behavior, leveraging psychological triggers to create a sense of desire and urgency in potential buyers.

“I’d Rather Not Think About How Products Manipulate Us”

It’s hard to admit that you’re being manipulated. It’s easier to just not think about it and enjoy the products that have been crafted to take advantage of your subconscious desires. 

But if we don’t stop to think about these things, then there’s no way for us as consumers or businesses to avoid them. 

We shouldn’t want our minds to become controlled by-products like tobacco and alcohol we should work toward finding ways for our brains’ natural processes to govern themselves.

“It’s Hard To Admit That I’m Being Manipulated”

I know what you’re thinking: “I’m not being manipulated.”

But let’s be honest here. You might be right, but it’s also possible that you don’t know how much of your behavior is being influenced by the company trying to sell you something.

You see, most people don’t realize they’re being manipulated because they believe in their autonomy of choice and free will. 

We all have an active desire to feel like we have full control over our decisions and behaviors but if we’re going to take back control over our lives, we first need to acknowledge when we aren’t making those decisions ourselves.

“I’m Afraid Of Becoming Controlled By Products Like Tobacco And Alcohol”

The more you think about the products, the more you realize how addictive they are. Some people say that tobacco and alcohol are not addictive, but this is not true. 

Tobacco use has been classified as a disease by the U.S. Surgeon General because of its harmful health consequences and dependence potential. 

Alcohol is also addictive and can cause serious harm if it’s used in excess over time; an estimated 88,000 deaths each year in the United States are linked to excessive drinking (CDC).

Products like these that manipulate us are not good for our health or our families’ health either. They were expensive too! 

You have to pay for them every day or week or month or year when you could be using your money on other things: paying rent/mortgage or buying food for your family instead of giving it all away so easily when asked nicely by someone else who just wants some cash fast…

“It’s Easier To Just Create A Product And Hope People Like It”

It’s easier to just create a product and hope people like it. You can try to predict what the market wants and make something that satisfies that need, but you may still be surprised by how people react. 

You can’t force anyone to use your product in any way, especially if they don’t want to use it. And even if they do want to use it, there’s no guarantee that they’ll continue using it for long enough for you to see results or for them to start liking it more than other products in existence. 

It’s better not just because of this unpredictability factor it also gives us more freedom with our designs and marketing strategies than we would have otherwise.

Delving into the intriguing world of the psychology of marketing, we uncover the subtle yet powerful strategies that entice consumers to desire products through persuasive techniques.

“These Techniques Are Not Practical For Small Businesses”

The techniques discussed in this article are not just for big brands. Small businesses can use them to make their products more effective, memorable, and addictive.

Let’s say you’re a small business owner who sells custom-made baby blankets online. You want your customers to see your brand as trustworthy and caring and you want them to remember your brand long after they’ve made their purchase. 

You could try sending out handwritten letters that thank customers for their business, but because it’s so personal, this strategy is likely only going to work with people who already know about your company or follow along on social media (and even then it’ll probably be hard). 

For this technique to have a bigger impact, try using one of the techniques listed above:

Subliminal messaging: Perhaps certain phrases convey trustworthiness and kindness in general; perhaps certain colors or designs convey these qualities when associated with words like “trust” or “care.” 

By including these messages in images associated with your brand (such as logos), you might subtly influence people into associating those qualities with yourself too!

Footprints: When someone takes a picture of themselves wearing one of the baby blankets made by our imaginary small business owner, take note if anyone uploads photos taken during moments where they were relaxing or enjoying themselves;

If so then perhaps those images could be used in future ads/promotions since they show how well something fits into people’s lives rather than simply serving as an advertisement alone!

The fascinating process of how your brain forms opinions about products within seconds is explored in-depth in the article about initial product impressions, shedding light on the importance of visual and emotional cues.

“My Brain Is Tired of Thinking About These Topics. I Need a Break”

You Should Take A Break

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the world of business and marketing and lose sight of the fact that humans are human, too. Sometimes we need a break from thinking about these topics and there’s no shame in it! Here are some ways you can take a break:

Watching movies or reading books is always an option for taking a mental breather. If you want something lighthearted and funny, try “The Office” (U.S.) or “Peep Show.” 

If you want something more serious and philosophical, try “The Social Network” (movie), “Fight Club,” or “How to Start Your Own Business.” The possibilities are endless!

Going for walks is another great way to relax your mind after long periods of intense concentration on business topics. You could even combine it with #1 by listening to podcasts while walking (if podcasts aren’t your thing, I’d recommend podcasts). 

This strategy works especially well if all those podcasts are about business too! 

The variety will keep things fresh while also allowing your brain time off from thinking about work-related topics again soon enough when back at work because then what else would there be left except sleeping? No thanks…we’ve got better things planned!

At the heart of effective marketing lies the crucial skill of understanding human behavior. Tailoring strategies to align with innate cognitive processes can lead to greater consumer engagement.


But if you’re a business owner, you have to know how your products are being used. You can’t just create something and hope people like it. That’s not good enough anymore. 

Consumers are smarter than ever before, and they expect more from the brands they buy from including transparency and honesty about how their products affect us at a neurological level. 

If you’re not willing to take the time to understand these concepts now, then maybe it’s time for someone else with more knowledge about manipulating human behavior through products (like tobacco companies). We don’t want that person running our lives!

Further Reading

Manipulating Consumers: Exploring the Ethical Boundaries: This article discusses the ethical considerations surrounding consumer manipulation, exploring the boundaries between effective marketing techniques and potentially manipulative strategies.

Consumer Behavior and Marketing Ethics: Delve into the complex relationship between consumer behavior and ethical considerations in marketing, shedding light on the intricacies of influencing consumer choices.

Ethics and Neuromarketing: Explore the intersection of ethics and neuromarketing, diving into the implications of using neuroscience-based techniques to shape consumer decisions.


What are the key ethical considerations in consumer manipulation?

Understanding the ethical boundaries of consumer manipulation is essential in modern marketing. Striking a balance between effective marketing techniques and respecting consumer autonomy is crucial.

How does consumer behavior influence marketing strategies?

Consumer behavior plays a pivotal role in shaping marketing strategies. By understanding cognitive processes and decision-making patterns, marketers can tailor their approaches to resonate with target audiences.

What is the role of ethics in neuromarketing?

Ethics in neuromarketing involves examining the moral implications of using neuroscience techniques to influence consumer behavior. It’s essential to consider whether these approaches respect individual autonomy and well-being.

How can marketers ensure their strategies are not manipulative?

Marketers can adopt transparent and informative approaches that empower consumers to make informed decisions. Balancing persuasive techniques with honesty and authenticity can contribute to responsible marketing practices.

What insights can be gained from studying the intersection of marketing and consumer psychology?

Studying the interplay between marketing and consumer psychology provides insights into how people perceive and respond to marketing efforts. This knowledge helps refine strategies for maximum effectiveness while respecting consumer rights.