The Dark Side of Aspirational Marketing: Unveiling the Tactics Used in Selling False Dreams
What is Aspirational Marketing?
Aspirational marketing can be defined as a specific marketing strategy that focuses on appealing to the desires of a target audience. It attempts to make amounts of appeal to not the rational but the emotional, psychological and mental fabric of an individual. Aspirational marketing plays a primary role in influencing the consumer’s choices and driving them to choose on emotions. This marketing strategy certainly aids in developing a heart-to-heart connection with the consumers. Effective aspirational marketing strategies mainly narrow their focus down to lifestyle images and tap into the needs and desires exhibited by the consumers. So, they sell you your dreams.
Selling you your dreams. Ever heard this phrase? What about this scenario where people convince you that to achieve your desired lifestyle, there’s only one solution, move abroad? Does this ring a bell? The biggest arena wherein aspirational marketing strategies are widely used in today’s world is the educational and job sectors. The country has been witnessing a sharp spike in the number of youngsters moving to European and North American countries for better education and job opportunities. But is a better lifestyle always the end product of these hiked migrations? Is the grass always greener on the other side as it is advertised?
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Surveys have shown that India has surpassed China to be the largest international graduate population in the US in 2023. Records show that a total of 268923 Indian students have enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States and they constitute almost 25% of the International student population in the country. Simultaneously research exhibits that about 74% of migrant students suffer from mild psychosocial problems and these psychosocial problems have a significant association with their current living status in the migrant country as well.
The stresses that a student may face through the migration process along with the lack of social support they may receive in a new country, the dichotomy of expectations and realities of their new home, economic and financial constraints, access to medical care, etc can lead to poor or the depreciated levels of psychosocial health in the migrant students.
But why so does this happen?
While this is a part of the reality that the world accepts, why is there still a hike in the number of migrant students? Students or even youngsters move out of their homes to other countries due to diverse causal factors. The lack of adequate infrastructure for effective education is one of the inevitable reasons for this action. Lack of effective infrastructure, better quality of education, absence of moral policing, and lack of political interference in university campuses are some of the reasons cited for migration.
It mostly springs up as a chain reaction, particularly with a peer or family member moving to a new country for their studies. Some others would soon follow this in the peer groups or the younger siblings in the family. Bank loans are available and people are conditioned to make use of them if people can afford to pay the debt in instalments.
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How are these dreams sold? How do the agencies lure people into the dream of a better lifestyle? Overseas agents lure students into the false dreams of easy course models, bribing them with free laptops and other technological devices. They are also, free of cost, promised and advised about what they are to expect after they graduate. Lured into enrolling themselves on courses with poor credentials and worse job opportunities, these students find how bitter the reality looks only after they step into the alien land. They are also fed with misinformation about how expensive the lifestyle there could be and about the credentials of the work visa and student visas they may hold.
They are also sometimes given wrong details as to how many hours they are supposed to work in the work visa they hold. This misinformation can even bring their entire life to a halt as holding a part-time job in these countries is inevitable for their sustenance. These students work so hard for every cent they earn and they are just left alone in an alien land figuring out the colour of human rights that the country is offering them. There have been multiple instances wherein these students were welcomed to a new country with unliveable housing conditions and part-time jobs where they continually faced exploitation. All these surely bring up the doubt as to whether the grass is even slightly green in these alien lands for every child seeking a better life in their shelters. So what can be done to not fall prey to businesses that sell you false dreams and squeeze money out of your genuine aspirations?
- It’s crucial to learn about the culture, language, customs, legal system, and economic climate of the nation you’re relocating to. This will facilitate the transition and help you get ready for any obstacles you may encounter. Make sure you are well-versed in the political and economic landscape of the nation before making a relocation. Investigate the cost of life, medical care, and education as well. To avoid upsetting the locals, it’s also crucial to familiarise yourself with their customs and manners. You may create a seamless shift and stay stress-free by doing your homework.
- Before you move, make sure you allow enough time for yourself to finish all the required activities. Make a timetable and follow it to efficiently manage your time. Set priorities for your work and start with the most critical ones. Allow adequate time for each work to be finished so that you don’t feel pressured or overburdened. Relocating overseas necessitates thorough organisation and planning. Visas, passports, medical care, banking, lodging, and transportation must all be arranged. Not arranging for these things might cause anxiety, hold-ups, and even legal problems.