How To Create Snob Effect In Marketing?

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 8149 , Published on 30 July 2012
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Imagine, 3 Superstar of Bollywood- Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan coming together to promote iPhone. But, it didn’t happen. They settled down for simple yet powerful punch-line.

If you don't have an iPhone, well you don't have an iPhone

What is the purpose of this advertisement? Been an extremely cash rich company, Apple could have used as many famous celebrities in one or separate advertisements. The reason behind this advertisement is SNOB EFFECT.


The snob effect is a phenomenon that refers to the situation where the demand for a certain good for individuals of a higher income level is inversely related to the demand for the good by individuals of a lower income level. To simple language, it’s about “show-off”.

It’s not bad to show-off if one has abundant money. It’s about getting recognition, fulfilling one’s desire and to achieve desired social status.  A philosopher may not agree with this line, however, this can be harnessed by a marketer. To enjoy superiority in market, a marketer creates snob value of a product which is its capacity to create snob effect. It has high economic value but low practical value.

In this article, we will discuss how to instill Snob Value to attract customers and bestow them with pride of possession.

Corporate Image

Corporate Image plays a vital role in creating snob effect. A new entrant can’t expect to create snob value as, usually; it’s the customer who wants to get attached with the brand to get recognition. To build a corporate image strong enough to generate snob effect, a firm must start values of innovation, quality and stability. These all values backed by perseverance have been exhibited by Apple, Rolls-Royce, Tag Heuer etc.

Marketing Strategy

In creating snob value, a company can strategize on marketing mix as

PRICE – It is the most important factor as marketer tends to exploit the tendency of buyers who usually perceive that expensive items signify exceptional quality and distinction. So, marketers can use “premium pricing” as preferred pricing strategy to cater snobbish needs of target customer who have high purchasing power.

PLACE – If feasible, there should be exclusivity in distribution and logistics like stores in posh & upbeat malls or areas.


Exclusive Apple Store

PRODUCT - The product must be of high quality and expected satisfaction should match desired satisfaction. The product can focus on innovation (first mover advantage), quality of component used or brand power.

PROMOTION - Enough hype should be created before launching the product to market by advertising, social networking websites, blogs etc. Now, we will later discuss advertisement strategy.

Market Segment

As discussed above, ideal market segment to create snob effect is the segment with high purchasing power or people with high income as well as disposable income. Rolls Royce, targets customers with royal lineage and even avoids neo-rich. Mostly their customers are self-employed with huge empires.

Advertisement Strategy

“Do you have it in you?”

This is the legendary punch-line of Indian Army which instills pride and confidence towards nation. The respect for defense forces is higher than bureaucracy, police and other government bodies, thanks to this iconic advertisement.

The idea here is to not focus specifications, benefits or price, but to focus on pride of attaching to that brand or to possess too. Similar strategy is used by premium watch makers like Tag Hueur, Swatch etc.


Advertisements play a vital role in communicating exclusivity of the product or the brand. Other example is of Parker Pen advertisement. Amitabh Bachchan, well suited up, replies back to gentleman in different accent and pronounce parker back to him, when he ask for a pen. Similar perception was developed by Heinz Ketchup in its debut advertisement by focusing on quality of tomatoes used and thickness of sauce.

So, through these steps, we believe company can create snob effect and create hype, attract customers and enjoy superior image.

This article has been authored by Chetanya Rajput from Amity Business School & Tejas Sharma from MDI Gurgoan


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