You were just window-shopping – so how’d you walk away with two giant shopping bags full of stuff? Martin Lindstrom has the answer! He’s a marketing mastermind and the author of “Brandwashed,” and through his research, he’s figured out how and why we decide to splurge:

  • For instance, companies know Moms are obsessed with germs and dirt. So, they capitalize on that fear – because they know that any packaging that promises to “sanitize” – or says the product is “sterile” – will move it off the shelves.

  • What else got you to fill your cart? The music being piped in. Often it’s a carefully orchestrated collection of songs that take you back to a time when life was simpler. We feel all warm and fuzzy listening to songs from our childhood and magically, we’ll open our wallet.

  • Another way manufacturers get us to spend? By playing into what Lindstrom calls “the fear of our future self.” Basically, we all have a vision of ourselves in the future that’s not too pretty. Whether it’s our teeth falling out because we don’t have a fancy electronic toothbrush – or the wrinkles we’re trying to avoid with the fancy skin cream. So, we’ll spend to avoid that “feared future self.”

  • And lately, manufacturers have tapped into a spending trigger – fruit. We’ll buy pretty much anything that has a fruity scent or a picture of fruit on the package – from room spray to cleaning products to lip balm. Why? Because fruit is a symbol of freshness – and evokes positive associations.