Consumerism from the Aisle

I close chapter one with two quotes I found astonishingly unrecognized and entirely true.

“If we went into stores only when we needed to buy something, and if  once there we bought only what we needed, the economy would collapse, boom.”

“As a result, an important medium for transmitting messages and closing sales is now the store and the aisle.”

-from Paco Underhill’s “Why We Buy”

Today in church the preacher spoke of decisions. He said the average human makes around 65,000 choices per day, from deciding which shoe to put on first to electing a president. He went into further analysis of the grocery store, and discussed the numbers of choices to be made there. There are 70 different toothpastes to choose from, 114 salad dressings, and more than 400 types of cookies in a single average grocery store. One must decide which to purchase somehow, be it from brand loyalty, trial and error, or “this one is in the prettiest box!”.

The truth is, ladies and gentlemen, everyone sells. Whether you are selling your skills at a job interview, selling the idea of buying a new car to your spouse, or selling snow to an eskimo, you are selling SOMETHING. The crux of all this is that you take part in a consumerist society that is driven by sales. Tonight at work, my boss was complaining that the last few hours that were under her watch had slowed down and the sales goal was not attained. “You don’t know what mean things happen to managers who don’t make their sales goals for the day,” she told me and my coworker, only half kidding. Another reason why I will never be a sales manager. Just an artist.

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