Strictly speaking, any business is based on meeting the natural needs of people. Even if the business is conducted in the field of B2B (business to business), people are consumers of the final products of the production chain. In obedience to natural instincts (biological needs), in order to survive (self-preservation), we consume food, water, breathable air, clothing, and other goods to provide heat. In order to continue our kin, we use products and services in the process of raising children. To ensure more favorable and reliable conditions for our survival and continuation of our kin, we consume what allows us to show dominance over the other representatives of the human race, with whom we automatically compete.
The third «forbidden» topic
There are two topics that people are embarrassed or even afraid to discuss regarding themselves: sex and money. Even in the abstract sense (not speaking about oneself), these topics usually cause discomfort. The reasons for this are cultural, religious, and ethical restrictions. Nevertheless, these topics are still widely discussed, as they are important for everyone due to our natural and social needs. Few people deny that they have a need for money and, once at a reproductive age, a need for sex.
A third «forbidden» topic — domination is rarely discussed simply because not everyone realizes that they have an instinctive need to dominate. Its opposite is modesty, which adults instill in children from an early age. Therefore, even educated, thinking people try to convince themselves that the need for dominance is not inherent in them. This deceptive modesty makes people easy prey for sellers of goods and services that satisfy this instinct. The nature, while buying, takes its toll.
In this article, we will talk only about business aimed at meeting the natural need for dominance. Although it is often inextricably linked with other instincts, we will conditionally assume that those instincts remain “behind the scenes.”
The need for the display of dominance is manifest in the many different actions of people. There is a wide range of professions to which people aspire en masse directed mainly by this instinct. These professions include politics, religion, the arts, journalism, athletics, teaching, management (the heads of all levels), and others.
The popularity of social networks on the Internet is based on this need. After all, everyone who participates in social networks not only by reading, through posts, comments, likes, acknowledgments, and congratulations to the authors of posts and “friends” present themselves to everyone who notices these actions. Users draw attention to themselves even when sharing free, interesting, and useful information with others. Moreover, almost all of them can become indignant if alerted to the natural background of these actions. Because they were brought up to be modest.
For the same reason, everyone is sure that they have superior mental abilities and education compare to others around them. Even someone’s slightest doubt about this endanger the perception of our own dominance. Therefore, almost everyone, with the rare exception of wise people, is offended when they are called or even suspected of being foolish, ignorant, profane, or amateurish.
There are numerous objects and documents that serve as symbols designed to testify to the dominance recognized by “authorities.” Among them are orders, medals, various kinds of material awards, honorary and scientific titles, record figures, various diplomas, certificates, official acknowledgments, and many other confirmations of certain successes. The better known the name or the denomination of the “authority” that has confirmed success, the more desirable is the possession of such confirmation. An example of this is the Nobel Prize, which even the heads of wealthy countries are proud of and crave for.
In the same way as everyone submits to the instinct of the procreation (love), every conscious person aspire to demonstrate dominance. You don’t believe me? Observe the behavior of physically weak people, especially in hospital wards, and you will find that dominance is also prevalent among them!
Once again about strangulated dominance syndrome
I have already written about this syndrome, which inevitably manifests itself in relations between subordinates and superiors, in the article, “What theorists of management are cowardly silent about. Speaking frankly” (http://www.shern.ru/upravlenie-rabotnikami/o-chyom-truslivo-molchat-teoretiki-menedzhmenta-razgovor-nachistotu). Therefore, in this aspect I will not repeat what I have written. I will instead cite other varieties of its manifestation.
- Jealousy (manifested not only in family relationships, but also between friends, colleagues, neighbors, and others around you);
• Annoyance (the mildest reaction).
I am sure that there is no need to provide explanations and examples of how these feelings have caused and are still causing intractable conflicts, often accompanied by bloody consequences. But the subjects who provoke such a reaction as a rule do not pursue mercantile interests, nor do they endanger the physical safety of the respondents and their children. The suspicion of an individual that his imaginary social status is endangered, is enough to induce such a violent reaction that for the one offended it will sweep away all social prohibitions and limits for the retaliatory, often excessive actions.
To evoke abovementioned feelings, it is often enough to apply teaching or to challenge the opinion (speculation, not knowledge) of an individual in order to deprive him of the last word in a completely peaceful discussion.
You can observe the manifestations of the syndrome of strangulated dominance in people all the time. To see this, it’s enough to simply interact with someone who has a low social status and watch them fall into a conditionally weak position. For example, a security guard may prevent your access somewhere, despite the proper documents you have. A clerk in a bank or in another institution, including a state one, may demand something unforeseen from you, and you will not be able to challenge it even if you know for sure that the requirement is inappropriate. Attendants in hospitals, police officers, and other low-skilled specialists will easily, automatically, and without thinking take the opportunity to assert their dominance. Of course, not everyone and not always, but most people in most cases will, at least in a mild form, not resist this natural instinct.
Surely you have often observed how people demand the satisfaction of non-existent rights invented by them and the priority satisfaction of their needs where they do not have any privileges. Theseare also manifestations of the strangulated dominance syndrome.
Sadism is its extreme case.
This natural feature of people (dominance) is used in business, more often intuitively and, less often, consciously. After all, you can capitalize on weak people who are not able to satisfy their own need in dominance. You can also make money on the strong ones by serving them on their way to realization of their own ambitions.
Some examples of making money on the demand for dominance
This article does not claim to provide an exhaustive list of how we (all people) capitalize on the needs of other people to show dominance. We also benefit from the fact that we are allowing others to demonstrate us their dominance. We earn not only money but also recognition and the satisfaction of our social and natural needs, including the opportunity to show our dominance to those who pay us for ensuring their own dominance (mutual sale of the same product to each other).
Almost all people consider this activity reasonable. Yes, if we had less intelligence, we would,in relation to each other, like other herd animals, resort to simple physical suppression of those who are weaker. However, our just somewhat superior rationality and inherent social needs, that we ourselves create, cause wide variety of means to prove yourself to show off to others.
In the brief sequence of examples below, there is no priority. These examples are mentioned as they emerge in the author’s head in the course of writing this part of the article.
You probably know that many “sellers of certificates” give out to customers «diplomas», «certificates», and other «licenses» to commemorate expenditures of money, time, energy, emotions in a glazed framework. These sellers know that most buyers will proudly hang these certificates in a prominent place. Organizers and participants of various competitions (sports, creative, and professional) do the same. Medals, cups, material prizes of various forms, certificates of honor, and even diplomas of participation in events are all put on display.
Professional and state honorary titles, orders, and medals are also -commodities, for which buyers pay high price.
All products called «elite» and allegedly endowed with additional valuable qualities are rarely bought to take advantage of additional and/or enhanced qualities. They, as well as framed pieces of paper and other visible rewards, play the role of objects for presentation. A little tinsel and some more noise, and the -ordinary product turns into an «elite» one, with a price increased accordingly. If you remove the labels or other «attestations» of the elitism of the goods, even experts, testers, and tasters will not catch the difference and therefore will give preference to «ordinary» but well-made products.
The prestige of the brand’s name of the product considered “elite” is important. The celebrity status of a person has the same importance. The words of the famous person are considered as more valuable even if he speaks nonsense. The banalities spoken by him are perceived as the revelations of a sage, and his unchecked, flattering nonsense is perceived by listeners as something insightful. Saying «I have heard/read the guru,» is a pretext to demonstate dominance by spilling nonsense into the ears of the «uninitiated». For these occasions, many people are willing to pay. Moreover, to be considered as a «guru» for this kind of «sale» it is not at all necessary to have relevant achievements. Thus, the professional puncher-champion may be quite suitable for the role of a “guru” in buisness, because he is a hero who has made a great deal of money with his fists and injuries. His name is an elite product.
Manifestations of the stranded dominance syndrome (jealousy, envy, hatred, resentment, etc.) are convenient cases for selling advocate services (e.g., attorney services), which will allow for punishing the guilty and restoring trampled dominance.
The need to preserve and expand an occupied dominant position provides an opportunity to develop and sell the weapons to the dominating ones, as well as the accompanying services of the security «agencies».
The list is huge. Let’s stop on this. Now, paying attention to the manifestations of this instinct, you will understand the true nature of human actions, which until now have caused you different feelings, ranging from anger to admiration.
If the instinct of dominance did not exist
The reason for writing this article was the emergence in my field, almost simultaneously, of several unrelated offers of paid services teaching to write books. Such a service is in demand by those who subscribe to the idea that the presence of a written book in the record adds to those striving to become a «guru» addinitional expertise (thus increasing dominance). Such an idea is -is in demand by those who do not believe that there already exists plenty of freely-accessible comprehensive information necessary to perform the full range of routine work associated with the creation of book-like products. Alas, hardly more than five percent of what can be seen on bookshelves can be called books.
But even books, like beautiful paintings, sculptures, architecture, design, and music, are the -products of the display of the instinct of dominance. All inventions, scientific theories, laws and rules, and, in general, everything that people have invented and will come up with, have and will continue to appear thanks to this natural need (including this article, by the way).
So, were it not for the instinct of dominance reinforced by the human mind, people would not break away from the rest of the herd animals and would likely have killed each other long ago through the demonstration of dominance unrestrained by laws, culture, morality, and other prohibitions.
Dominance, like laziness (the need for energy saving), is an engine of progress. Therefore, a business that exploits the need for dominance reduces the itchiness of the weak and helps to achieve success for the strong.
If you are strong, then my articles on www.shern.ru and http://www.shern.ru/posobiya, as well as my books on http://www.shern.ru/knigi, are written for you. They have a lot of information you can use to present your dominance. Read and use them!
The purpose of this article is to help your marketing managers and advertisers make their messages to potential customers more effective.
I wish you success in the demonstration and satisfaction of personal creative dominance!