Continuously chasing the next ‘fix’

by | 23 Feb 2023

Continuously chasing the next ‘fix’

Today’s blog isn’t aimed at businesses but instead focuses on the habit we all seem to have developed as consumers of continuously chasing our next ‘fix’.

We live in a world of continual consumption.

We are subjected to adverts and marketing every minute of every day.

Our online searches determine which adverts we’ll see next time we log on.

We are continuously sold the story that we are missing out if we don’t keep up with everyone else and that our lives will be so much better if we buy the latest ‘thing’.

So as a society we have subconsciously taken this messaging onboard and developed our way of life accordingly, and in doing so we are continuously chasing our next ‘fix’, often without knowing what this fix is, or realising we are chasing it, and this cycle helps feed the global economy of continual linear ‘growth’.

And on a planet of finite resources this really isn’t sustainable…

Are we really being sold to all the time?

I hate being sold to, I always have, and as a result I have always been very skeptical of why I ‘should’ buy something or do something…

The way so many of us live our lives now makes it so easy for us to be sold to from the minute we open our eyes in the morning. We are bombarded, often without realising, with messaging and adverts and marketing, which subliminally keep us in our consumption bubble chasing our next ‘fix’. And the scary thing here is that it starts from such an early age.

Adverts can be really powerful, I can still remember certain adverts from when I was a kid just from the catchy song they used, and this was when we only had 4 TV channels and the adverts weren’t directly aimed at kids!

The next generation of consumers

I tried to teach my kids about advertising and marketing from when they were very young to help them try to navigate all the ‘buy me’ messaging they are subjected to. An example I used with them is the advertising on kids TV which is directly aimed at kids. The fact that they are being ‘sold’ to from such a young age is terrifying if you really think about it!

I used to ask them if they could see what the advertising company was trying to get them to want, then, if they wanted the item, why did they think they actually wanted it. This helped to get them thinking, even just a little bit, and not blindly following the crowd or advertising messaging.

With so many kids watch things online now, there are even more adverts aimed directly at them from the moment they turn on their screens.

Scarcity marketing driving consumer demand

Kids are fast becoming a perfect target audience for marketeers, and the ‘scarcity marketing’ technique plays directly into their ‘FOMO’ or fear of missing out.  

With a society of consumers all chasing their next fix, the ‘scarcity marketing’ technique has become more and more popular with companies. This technique creates a perceived limited supply of an item, which then encourages the consumer to make a purchase before the item goes away, and it plays directly on our inbuilt ‘FOMO’.

Take the current craze of the recently launched Prime Hydration drink which has caused huge queues of people trying to buy it as it is ‘desirable’, and a black market of people selling it on at very high prices.  

The drink is pretty much made up of water, with a bit of coconut water and some flavourings, and comes in a single use plastic bottle. From an environmental perspective it is terrible, from a health perspective you are probably better off drinking water, but from a marketing perspective it is a dream! The two founders already had a huge social media following largely made up of young kids, and despite denying they ‘limited’ the supply to create the demand, the scarcity marketing technique has generated such desperation among kids that they are paying up to £100 for a 500ml bottle in some cases!

We now have kids queuing up to chase their own next ‘fix’ which has been created directly for them…

If we weren’t a society continuously chasing our next fix or the next new thing, scarcity marketing wouldn’t exist…

So what next?

We need to stop the mindless chasing of our next ‘fix’. Our planet really can’t sustain it, and neither can our pockets!

We need to take a look at ourselves and understand what our own ‘fixes’ are and what our FOMO triggers might be.

Recognising and questioning the continuous marketing messaging, advertising messaging, and social media influences is a great place to start to begin reprogramming our conscious and unconscious consumer habits.  

We need to make real change and really think about the impact of everything we do and consume every day, it is about the conscious and unconscious choices we make and it is about where and how we spend our money.

Hopefully this blog has helped you recognise how we are all continuously chasing the next fix, and how important it is to break and step away from this habit.

For more green tips and inspiration take a look at our other blog posts, or pop over to Instagram and LinkedIn and check out @achievinggreenness where we provide you with the motivation, evidence, and tools you may need to become greener.

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