Beware of people trying to sell you ladders

By | 5th February 2017


Sadly many marketing tries to sell you on the idea that you have to constantly be looking to improve and move up on a purchase.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, about how people buy things backwards, this should be something that you positively ignore.

You can see the ladder in many different things, such as phones, tablets, cars and property – trying to say that you won’t be happy with an inferior product unless you get the new best one.

Marketing tries to say that you will have greater satisfaction the more you spend and should be upgrading when a new model comes out.

Interestingly, Mark Zuckerberg used to drive the same car as me – an Acura TSX (European Honda Accord), yet you would expect him to be driving a Lamborghini or similar if you believed the marketing.

If a billionaire is chosing to not accept ladder marketing, then perhaps it’s something you should consider too?


Indeed, my car history could be considered moving backwards down the ladder as the small hybrid I currently drive is marketed as a first car for new drivers – apparently executives can’t drive it? Yet if it meets all my needs, why would I drive a clown car?

For a time, I used to have the latest models on launch day.

Things have gone silly now when a mobile phone costs £700 though, so I made a change.

As I’ll talk about in a later post, I made the switch from a top of the range fruit phone to one that might be considered a starter phone or even a child’s phone.

Yet, it did everything the other phone did, and in some cases faster because it had less overhead powering the latest components and advanced operating system.

At less than a quarter of the cost, insurance isn’t an extra you would pay for – should something happen(unlikely) you could just throw it away and buy a new one. No hassle dealing with a warranty company or paying an excess, and you could do this 4 times before you had even got to the cost of the top-end phone.

If property is your bag, then you will definitely notice ladder marketing here – indeed they even call it getting on the ladder.

The idea is that you buy a starter home, then move up through the years… perhaps one day achieving status with a ‘executive home!’

Yet, if that so-called ‘starter home’ provides all that you need then why would you move on?

After building up 17 years experience in industry and practice, James started his own business from scratch in 2006. He now helps others to do the same, while minimising both the risks and costs. James is dual qualified in tax and accounts, and has won multiple awards for small business. In 2014 he was invited to Downing Street, as one of the Small Business Saturday 100 winners.

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