How Whole Foods “Primes” You To Shop

By Martin Lindstrom
Fast Company

Have you ever been primed? I mean has anyone ever deliberately influenced your subconscious mind and altered your perception of reality without your knowing it? Whole Foods Market, and others, are doing it to you right now.

Derren Brown, a British illusionist famous for his mind-reading act, set out to prove just how susceptible we are to the many thousands of signals we’re exposed to each day. He approached two creatives from the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi for the “test.” On their journey to his office, Brown arranged for carefully placed clues to appear surreptitiously on posters and balloons, in shop windows, and on t-shirts worn by passing pedestrians.

Upon their arrival, the two creatives were given 20 minutes to come up with a campaign for a fictional taxidermy store. Derren Brown also left them a sealed envelope that was only to be opened once they’d presented their campaign. Twenty minutes later, they presented and then opened the envelope. Lo and behold, Derren Brown’s plans for the taxidermy store were remarkably similar to the ad campaign, with an astounding 95% overlap.

An interesting experiment, you may say, but hardly a trick you’d fall for. But bear this in mind–it’s more than likely you were well primed the last time you went shopping.

Let’s take for example Whole Foods, a market chain priding itself on selling the highest quality, freshest, and most environmentally sound produce. No one could argue that their selection of organic food and take-away meals are whole, hearty, and totally delicious. But how much thought have you given to how they’re actually presenting their wares? Have you considered the carefully planning that’s goes into every detail that meets the eye?

In my new book Brandwashed, I explore the many strategies retailers use to encourage us to spend more than we need to–more than we intend to. Without a shadow of doubt, Whole Foods leads the pack in consumer priming.

Let’s pay a visit to Whole Foods’ splendid Columbus Circle store in New York City. As you descend the escalator you enter the realm of a freshly cut flowers. These are what advertisers call “symbolics”–unconscious suggestions. In this case, letting us know that what’s before us is bursting with freshness.

Flowers, as everyone knows, are among the freshest, most perishable objects on earth. Which is why fresh flowers are placed right up front–to “prime” us to think of freshness the moment we enter the store. Consider the opposite–what if we entered the store and were greeted with stacks of canned tuna and plastic flowers? Having been primed at the outset, we continue to carry that association, albeit subconsciously, with us as we shop.

Read more at Fast Company

12 responses to “How Whole Foods “Primes” You To Shop

  1. It’s the social engineering. The illuminist stock in trade is knowing, and removing that knowledge from our collective consciousness. Our sub-conscious know what signals for us that which is good and for our health and well being. Humans on a subconscious and conscious level choose good… we are good. The elite use the triggers in nature to confuse us into taking us further and further away from nature. Green represents the love of the mother, our earth, and she truly does love and nourish us. That is why banks and dollars contain green. There is no love in either, but it works on a sub-conscious level to make us feel that love. I can go on and on, but you need to learn these things for yourself… how you are manipulated.

    What we have is a world built on lies and the so-called elite have been fudging things and lying so long, they either cannot or will not admit the jig is up. Lies upon lies upon lies is not sustainable… it has to collapse upon itself, there is no where else to take it. What we have left, if anything, is what we have to worl with to build a sustainable future… without the lies, thank you.

  2. I wonder what we do have left… i wonder if they will admit they’ve gone too far. If there ever was a time to live in truth, this is it.

  3. that’s the problem… we don’t have a plan and they prevent us from gaining too much a perspective on anything… we are the result of their programming… is it all they can do? program us now is in protection mode. they have no answers except the elimination of the askers.

  4. my brain hurts… as does my heart.

  5. Really really really good article. There is a layer of mind, that is dedicated to deception. It is very very very proficient. In fact, it is so good at it, at ‘deception’, that it deceives itself, it creates a false light about itself and pulls everything weaker to it. In the old days, we called it Satan or Lucifer. Nowadays we can call it marketing or advertising or consumer protection and promotion or we can call it, government. It can go by a million names. It is still the same thing.

    • Personal note: Again, Organic Valley is really good at this! At satanic ‘deception’.

      They (Organic Valley) destroyed our little tiny farm and they did it in the interests of ‘marketing product to consumers’, ie., making bundles and bundles of cash for themselves and for the investor class, the wealthy financiers, the hierachical Jews (killers of Christ) and so on. This is what ‘organic certified’ has fallen to. But they call themselves, Christian.

      Thanks Rady.


  6. Thank you Rady… the work you do is changing perceptions. Thank you Ned for being forthcoming about your experiences.

    Our collective reality is in flux. Here’s to accelerated evolution… i have to believe it’s true… i see it happening.

  7. Pingback: The Boomer Chronicles » Blog Archive » Friday Links Variety Show (October 21, 2011)

  8. Pingback: How Whole Foods “Primes” You To Shop | Food Freedom | Whole Food Value

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