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Sell with the power of suggestion

How do you use the power of suggestion

Sell with the power of suggestion

Imagine that your marketing strategy would have unprecedented success. Because people believe you, and customers stand in line for your product. Then you probably applied the power of suggestion. Dictionaries defines suggestion as follows: · sug ges · tion (the; v; plural: suggestions)

1 suggesting
2 by spiritual influence induced idea
3 proposal

Spiritual influences sounds a little creepy. You may think of hypnosis and mind control. But actually it is nothing more than the kind of influence that all marketers strive for. The power of suggestion is a very effective tool that we can use in our advertising.

How does suggestion work?

Why the power of suggestion is so powerful, no one really knows or can point out exactly. It is probably rooted in our primal brain. This is the part of our brain that works unconsciously and instinctively. Suggestion is so powerful that it can even affect our body physical. Think of the placebo effect. As long as you’re convinced enough of the effect of a pill, your body gives a similar reaction.

What we do know is that in relation to marketing, there are three ways in which the power of suggestion can be used; by bringing a topic or product to the attention (agenda-setting), by creating an opinion about a product through a reference or comparison (framing), or by effecting a lasting emotional bond with the product by creating associations (priming).

Is this new?

At first glance, this does not sound innovative. It is an ancient principle many marketers are not fully aware of. Traditional marketing is often aimed at addressing the rational brain by using arguments to tell you how great their product or brand is. But today we are confronted daily with an abundance of advertising and communication.

We have learned to see through this and we distrust ‘sales pitches’. So it is interesting to learn how you can spread your message in a more subtle way. Using the imagination of the mind, you work directly on the unconscious mind, and therein lies the key to ‘true influence’.


By simply draw attention to a product or service, you already have been busy selling it. The simplest forms of this example are cross-selling and upselling. You create a need by introducing an added option or additional product when purchasing. It’s Interesting that suggestion works stronger if it is more often repeated. In an online store, you can use this in a smart way by promoting an additional product or accessory during the purchase process.


By placing a product or brand in a particular situation, you create a reference framework in which the product automatically gets a certain value. That can be a financial or emotional value. So be careful what framework you create with the words and images you use. Price anchoring is a good example of framing. The price of product A will pass value (cheap or even expensive) when compared to the price of product B. Emotional value can be recalled, for example, by interrelating luxury items; “Those who enjoy luxury, high quality products such as expensive champagne, also need an expensive watch.”

Priming (psychology)

he real power of suggestion comes to expression in priming. Unconscious associations and interpretations are being used. It focuses not so much on the time of purchase, but in laying a foundation for later behaviour. The intention is that the potential customer retains a positive feeling about the product or brand in his brain. Ads that use the priming effect will provide little or no substantive information. Instead, they use words, images or music that evoke a certain feeling.

By linking these feelings with a logo or slogan, they create an association which can be summarized as “Brand X makes you feel good.” Imagine that you’ve seen a week of commercials for mark X which made you physically happy. When brand X is selling cereals, and you are then in the supermarket, the chances are that if you lay your eyes on brand X, the happy feeling is bubbling up again. Guess what cereal you will be eating for your breakfast tomorrow?


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