Make them beg for it – aka “envy”

In his book Evil by design, Chris Nodder composes the savoir-faire in design. As a human-centered designer, he suggests a guide based on the seven deadly sins, in order to make a product attractive and desirable to get. This week’s reading assignment is the chapter “Envy” and our fellow student is going to present his master’s project in this context.

A very successful example of how envy works towards a marketing strategy is Tom Sawyer’s attitude in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, as it is highlighted in the introduction of  Evil by design. The boy managed to present his dull and strenuous task as appealing and fun instead and finally his friends were aspired to get it done. Behaviorism and conditional psychology are considerably important parameters when it comes to designing a product or even a strategy to promote it. According to the author, the stages to make a product desirable include secrecy, scarcity, identity, aesthetics and functionality.

The manufacturing of envy involves the approach of “full-on destructive envy”, which assures that the item is a must-have. This is a remarkable technique of attracting buyers and users to a product/service promoted. Since our fellow student’s project mainly targets a specific clientele (for children), I can picture how the word-of-mouth could work in this case.

In general, this chapter reminded me of Pavlov’s dogs and although this experiment is not mentioned with regards to rewards and payments, I think it would be an outstanding fit. However, Nodder mentions reinforcement on a later chapter (Greed), that deals with the gaming industry and gambling in particular.


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