Why status matters in marketing (and sales)

In the world of sales and marketing, one often overlooked yet incredibly powerful concept is status. Understanding and leveraging this can transform how you approach marketing, customer engagement, and ultimately, your business’s success.

Inspired by insights from the “Forgetting this Sales Hack Probably Lost Me Millions” podcast episode by The Unscheduled CEO Podcast, this blog post delves into the role of status in consumer behavior and offers practical strategies to enhance your marketing efforts.

According to Rusell Brunson, the primary reason people decide to buy or not buy a product hinges on their perception of status. This idea, which Brunson credits to his friend Perry Belcher, posits that individuals are motivated by the potential for an increase or decrease in their status. This psychological driver can significantly influence purchasing decisions.

Role of Status

Status plays a pivotal role in why people decide to buy or not buy products. When faced with a purchasing decision, individuals subconsciously evaluate whether it will increase or decrease their status.

Perceived status increase: If the potential customer believes that purchasing a product will enhance their status, they are more likely to proceed with the purchase. For example, a product that promises weight loss or financial gain might appeal to an individual looking to improve their physical appearance or financial standing.

Perceived status decrease: Conversely, the act of spending money itself can initially be seen as a decrease in status because it involves parting with resources. However, the hope is that the benefits of the product will outweigh this initial status decrease, leading to a net gain in status.

An essential aspect of this concept is that status means different things to different people. For some, owning a luxury car might be a significant status symbol, while for others, it could be a source of ridicule among their peers. Understanding this subjective nature is crucial for marketers.

Status in Marketing

Given this understanding, the role of a marketer is to craft offers so compelling that the customer perceives a clear and undeniable increase in status.

  1. Identify the target audience’s status symbols: Know what your audience values and considers as a status symbol. This could be anything from luxury items to more intangible benefits like security, happiness, or personal achievement.
  2. Highlight the status increase: Clearly communicate how your product or service will enhance the customer’s status. This involves more than just listing features; it requires painting a vivid picture of the improved life or status the customer will enjoy after making the purchase.
  3. Mitigate the oerceived status decrease: Address the initial hesitation that comes from spending money. This could involve offering guarantees, emphasizing the long-term benefits, or even creating a sense of urgency that outweighs the initial status loss.

In short, to use the status principle in your marketing efforts, it’s essential to adjust your messages to highlight the exclusive and high-value aspects of your offerings. For instance, instead of merely stating “community access,” emphasize the exclusivity and networking opportunities within your community.

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When developing your products or services, ensure they help customers feel more useful and valuable. This approach is especially relevant in B2B settings.

For instance, businesses like AJ&Smart aim to enhance the purchaser’s status within their company by delivering exceptional results and showcasing the buyer’s good taste and decision-making skills.

Implications of Status

Status dynamics vary across cultures and environments. The status games in Miami differ significantly from those in Berlin or Tokyo. Understanding these nuances can help tailor your approach to different markets and audiences.

Related Psychology

Understanding the psychology behind why people buy can boost your marketing. “Status” in marketing is deeply rooted in psychological biases, meaning it’s all about how people think and feel about themselves and others. Two key ideas here are social proof and authority bias.

Social Proof

Social proof is when people look at what others are doing to decide what they should do.

When people see others, especially those they admire, using a product, they are more likely to want it themselves. This can make the product seem higher status.

  • Testimonials and reviews: Show positive feedback from real customers.
  • Influencer partnerships: Work with influencers who appeal to your audience.
  • User-generated content: Encourage customers to share their experiences on social media.

Authority Bias

Authority bias is when people trust and follow the opinions of experts or authority figures.

Endorsements from respected figures can make your product seem more credible and high-status.

  • Expert endorsements: Get respected industry experts to endorse your product.
  • Awards and recognitions: Highlight any awards your product has received.
  • Professional reviews: Share reviews from reputable sources.


By understanding and leveraging the concept of status, marketers can create offers that not only attract customers but also compel them to buy. The key is to make the potential status increase so apparent and desirable that the decision to purchase becomes the only logical outcome.

Understanding these nuances can help businesses tailor their marketing strategies to align with the subconscious motivations of their customers, ultimately leading to more effective and compelling offers.

Logo Freelance CRO specialist Sander Volbeda

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