Who's Tricking Whom Case Study

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Case Study: Who's Tricking Whom?
Main Ethical Issue
Gladwell (2005) introduces the concept of sensation transference in his book Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Sensation transference is something that occurs when customers transfer their feelings about a product’s packaging onto the product itself (Rae & Wong, 2004). Sensation transference is largely an unconscious act, we cannot help it, even when we are aware of it. “Our minds perceive fancier packaging contains a more quality product, regardless of whether the formulas or ingredients are the same” (Smith 2015, p. 1). For example, taste perceptions are impacted by the shape of a bottle of wine or the colors of a can of soda. Most of us do not make a distinction on a conscious
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Is it misleading or deceptive for organizations to package products in a way that entices customers to purchase their product? Not necessarily. When going to a job interview, people dress to make a good first impression. When marketing a product or service, companies want to package products in a manner that entices customers to take a second look. Ethical issues arise when they choose to charge a higher price for their product based on the idea of sensation transference. Some would argue that practice is deceitful or manipulative. Deceit and manipulation become a problem when the information is knowingly used in a manner meant to mislead others (Johnson, 2016). This behavior also results in a loss of trust for organizations. Confucianism focuses on healthy relationships built on trust and mutual respect. When marketers knowingly mislead consumers, it destroys the trust of consumers. Maintaining a trusting relationship with consumers is important and being transparent and honest about their marketing process is a way to help consumers make informed …show more content…
1). If people are making decisions about purchasing a product based on the packing, then making a strong first impression will impact whether consumers notice your product. Just as we judge a person based on how they look, we do the same thing with products based on packaging. However, knowing that consumers cannot separate packaging from product organizations must take care to foster relationships with consumers based on trust and honesty. Charging more for a product because people perceive it tastes better because of packaging does not seem to be building relationships built on trust. No one is immune to advertising and first impressions still matter, which is why companies have an ethical obligation to treat consumers with respect, foster truth, and focus on building relationships built on honesty and

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