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FLEB Marketing Tactic #9 Social Triggers = Social Conditions

This is Day 9 of How To Spot a Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand (FLEB).

If you’re a consumer, this crash course can help you make an informed, powerful decision about who you offer your time, money & attention to.⠀

If you’re an entrepreneur, download this free 10-day class to help you audit your own business practices, so that you can:⠀

  1. Bake justice into your business practices & marketing (and flourish while you do that)⠀
  2. Make sure you’re creating the social & client impact you intended⠀


FLEB Tactic #9: 

Social Triggers = Social CONDITIONS⠀


FLEBs use social triggers– aka TRAUMATIC SOCIAL CONDITIONS –in order to activate and channel our trauma responses & survival instincts into a sale.⠀

But social triggers are social CONDITIONS.⠀

Authority, scarcity, social proof, unearned privilege: they’re all social conditions.⠀

Uncritically using social triggers as sales devices without evaluating potential impact = leveraging injustice to create profit. ⠀


Culture Making Business Practice #9: 

Use high risk/low risk distinction to evaluate IMPACT of using social triggers⠀

Ask yourself: is this selling situation high-risk or low-risk for my client?**⠀

SOMETIMES social triggers are useful. They help us make quick decisions in low-risk situations — and that’s valuable, because we’re saving our time & cognitive resources for more important tasks. ⠀

FOR EXAMPLE: If I buy the most popular yoghurt for $3 (low-risk), then the trigger of social proof (popular = social proof) worked on me — and that’s valuable, because otherwise selecting a cart full of groceries could take FOREVER.⠀

What is the female lifestyle empowerment brand (FLEB)

and why is it a problem?


  • Conform to the cultural demands of Ideal Femininity in order to rise
  • Reinforces gender dualist/binary


  • Display wealth, privilege & leisure in order to manufacture social authority over other women


  • Use the language of feminism & social change to bait a women into following/buying… while doing (oppressive) business as usual.
  • Conflates individual success with collective empowerment (they are not the same thing)


  • Teach women how to style themselves as saleable, consumable objects in order to ‘succeed’
  • Asks us to erase ourselves in order to perform a brand character

In low risk situations, social triggers help us make snap decisions.⠀

In high-risk situations, social triggers can lead us into subconscious rather than informed decisions. DANGER DANGER.⠀

CONCLUSION: The higher the risk (eg price, time…), the fewer social triggers we use.⠀

**Dr. Michelle Mazur @drmichellemazur taught me the high-risk/low-risk distinction/tool⠀


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