Selling Dreams

By Mark Nuyens
4 min. read🧠 Psychology

Large and small companies alike have mastered the art of selling not just their products or services, but something much more profound. While we may think they are trying to convince us with rational arguments, such as specifications, capabilities, ease of use, and design, we often overlook their real promise: a dream. This dream could represent a new lifestyle, career success, or social acceptance, and it's often communicated as an underlying message.

Car commercials, for instance, present cars as a means for living an adventurous life, impressing others, and comfortably traveling with loved ones. Apple leads you to believe that purchasing their devices will enhance your entire lifestyle, from exercising more to living in a beautiful environment. However, the reality may be quite the opposite, as one might experience a more fulfilling life without the constant distraction of technology.

It is crucial to recognize that companies spend millions of dollars marketing these dreams, which are often unattainable. For example, IKEA sells furniture, but their marketing campaigns focus on the promise of an organized, clutter-free, and comfortable home. While their products may contribute to this vision, it is still up to you to implement and maintain these changes.

Another interesting example is YouTuber Enes Yilmazer, a real estate enthusiast who showcases luxurious homes. His success lies not in the properties themselves, but in the way he presents them, highlighting a dream lifestyle. His videos cater to those who may never own such a house but dream of doing so, which has garnered him over 3 million subscribers.

Although we may not always realize it, advertisers are selling dreams. One could argue that the ethical boundaries become blurred when companies imply that purchasing their brand will lead to a certain lifestyle. As time progresses, we see an increase in this type of advertising, with a shift from promoting products to selling dreams.

Future advertisements may not even mention products at all. Perfume commercials, for instance, sell their product using beautiful people and locations, despite the fact that we can't even smell the perfume through our screens. Other brands may follow this trend, focusing on developing brand loyalty rather than promoting specific products.

Even in the world of web development, companies like Laravel, a popular PHP framework, market their products as tools for ambitious entrepreneurs. They showcase successful applications and impressive statistics, but in reality, it's still up to you to build a great service or product. Laravel can't do that for you.

Ultimately, these marketing strategies reveal not only what people want functionally but also what they dream of achieving in the long run. And for brands, understanding these aspirations may be even more valuable than money itself.