The email said "Business Secrets Revealed!" The magazine said "Lose 10lbs in 10 days!" The package claimed that the skin care product could reduce 7 signs of aging!
What do these and dozens of other similar activities have in common? They are creating "hope."
Every day, millions of people respond to these types of statements by investing in the stock market, buying lottery tickets, purchasing cosmetics, buying self-help books, visiting therapists, and cheering sports teams. Hope is so widespread we even use it on product names. A recent search on Amazom.com and CDNOW.com revealed 4,936 books, 202 CDs, and 229 songs with hope in the title.
Hope is pervasive in marketing, so let's think about what it is, how to generate it, and its consequences.
WHAT IS HOPE?
Hope is quite simply the desire for a positive yet uncertain future outcome. Take note that a positive outcome here means not just having something good happen (e.g., winning the lottery) but avoiding having something bad happen (e.g., becoming older). Why are things uncertain? Because people don't completely expect that the outcome will happen-either because they lack the confidence that it will happen or the ability to control it to make it happen.