It’s 2017; the later end of it albeit it’s not too late to revive your marketing strategy? The average entrepreneur’s marketing strategy consists of the usual ads, blogging, promotions etc. (does that describe you?) that’s why there is a lot of struggle for the limited marketing space. Every marketing attempt must be backed up with a sound marketing strategy. So, what’s your marketing strategy? Today, I want to present you with a widely used but not commonly known marketing strategy known as SNOB APPEAL.


Many of us dislike, if not hate snobs. They are those people with their noses up all the time who believe or at least behave like they are better. They differentiate themselves through what they do, how they dress, who they hang around with etc. Now what a lot of us don’t admit is the fact that we actually admire and what to be like these snobs in our inner inner minds (lol). We wished we could walk like them, we wished we had the stuff they have, we wish we could carry ourselves the way they do. We tell ourselves that when we are in that position, we won’t be ‘snobbish’.


How does this relate to marketing?

The number 1 rule of marketing is that “buying decisions are emotional decisions”.

Your customer may disagree with this, even you as a customer in one form may disagree with this but it’s true. No matter how logical & rational one claims to be, we make buying decisions based on how we feel – about the person, about the product, about the opportunity, about the possibility it gives us. This is why 90% of marketing is persuasion; thus a good marketing strategy makes the best use of colors, images, sounds, words, actions to persuade you to take this action course.

Having set out the basics, let’s get down to it;

According to ‘’ “Snob appeal refers to the qualities or attributes of a product that might appeal to a consumer with “snobby” tastes. It may refer to the actual product itself or the exclusivity the consumer could potentially experience as a result of owning the product that is being advertised.”

The purpose of snob appeal is to persuade a consumer to purchase a product or service by convincing him or her that the purchase will elevate their status. By appealing to individuals’ desires to be among the elite, advertisers attempt to sell their products.

Funny enough! The truth is we are all in this race/chase to get something – more money, more power, more respect, more time, more XYZ and having more of something gives you POWER over the person that doesn’t. I know you are good and nice and don’t want evil power over anyone but the truth is, the race from birth to death is to be and to get MORE!

snob appeal buying

Now to measure if something is more; there has to be less. There is MORE only in comparison to something less. So how does your neighbor know that you have MORE? When u drive a bigger car; so the customer runs out to buy a bigger car. How does your colleague know that you are a big girl who doesn’t depend on her salary? When u use the latest phones and wear the latest fashion trend.


Thus humans chase bigger phones, better cars, more shoes etc. and all this while they are BUYING! They are buying from those brands who promise them MORE! BIGGER! BETTER!; those brands who persuade them that by buying their products they will be seen as having MORE!



For example, some different ads that illustrate snob appeal include the following:

In Nigeria, Coca-Cola recently introduced a marketing strategy with the 60CL and 35CL coke plastic bottles. They tagged the 60CL – bigger boy and 35CL – Solo. Before we go further, who wants to be called Solo? Won’t you want to be called a Bigger Boy? Errh I think its Yes to the latter.

snob appeal

That right there is Snob Appeal! They have used your desire to be a Bigger Boy, to increase the size of the coke bottles by a little amount (10CL) while charging 50% extra on the original price. Coke wins! You get your snob appeal!

Cigarette ads with big and tough guys smoking cigarettes makes it seem that the consumer, too, could be amongst the elite hearty men who smoke cigarettes.

Commercials that show men drinking a certain brand of beer attracting all of the beautiful women in a bar gives the underlying message that drinking that beer will make the consumer more attractive to women.

A food commercial that highlights parents who are “Number One” that purchase a certain food product implies that the consumer will also be a top notch parent if he or she purchases the product.

snob appeal

A perfume advertisement that features a woman dressed in fancy clothes and very expensive jewelry appeals to the “inner snob” by implying that a woman who wears that perfume will be equally as exquisite in appearance.

A commercial for cat food that shows a cat eating a certain brand of food in a posh house with a fancy pet dish makes the consumer feel she is treating her cat the best she possibly can by purchasing that food.

A military slogan that says, “Do you have what it takes?” is appealing to snob appeal by trying to recruit members implying that they are an elite group that has characteristics that others do not possess.

The decision to buy an IPhone over an Infinix phone may have its legitimate reasons and claims but mostly its to feel among. We don’t want to be seen as not being able to afford a big boy’s phone so we spend over 200% more than we would have spent just to enjoy the same or sometimes even worse service than we would have.

When a company is attempting to sell its services over competitors’ services and states “You don’t want to deal with those OTHER companies…” it is attempting to elevate its own image to be more appealing as an elite company.

The entire concept of brand ambassadorship is built on Snob Appeal. As featuring a popular celebrity in a commercial in which she states she would never use another brand makes the product seem more appealing to the consumer. The followers of the celeb automatically see purchasing that product as affiliating with the celebrity who may not even use the product in real life.

snob appeal

My last example is of the latest DSTV ad; it shows a very successful man who dresses nice, doesn’t rush his work because he has all his favourite shows recorded. He can stay at home and watch the latest movies with his family – wife and children are satisfied. It also shows a less successful man who has to rush home to catch the match, who has to watch movie while cooking so he doesn’t miss his favourite shows and who disappoints his family & friends because they can’t watch the latest movies. After watching this ad, do you want to be like Guy A or Guy B? Right there is snob appeal for you!

So how can you use it in your business?

  1. Forget all the already existing marketing jargon attached to your product/service (jargon = untrue, non productive, ineffective description)
  2. Trim your product/service down to the bare basics (think the muscle of your product/service)
  3. Answer the question, how does my product/service make my customer feel? (take an outsider’s approach)
  4. How can I make my customer be better through the use of my product/service? (snob appeal!)
  5. How can I communicate this effectively and efficiently? (better marketing lingo)

Once you can put this together, you have yourself a Snob Appeal Marketing Strategy.

Snob Appeal is one of those things we hate but which works!

If you would like professional help in formulating your marketing strategy or would like me to help you review your answers and guide you on the right path, kindly contact me here or send me an email at

Thanks for reading!


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