PurseBlog Asks    Real Talk

Why Do We All Hate to Admit When We’ve Been Influenced?

Isn't that the point?

These days, it’s nearly impossible not to be influenced.

From the big screens and the ones that are small enough to fit in the palm of our hands to guerrilla marketing and more, humans are constantly stimulated by marketing techniques, whether we like it or not.

Whether conscious or subconscious, our brains hold on to so much. How many times have you seen something and thought to yourself, “I’ve seen this before.” Maybe it’s a cool new beauty product, a B-list celebrity you swore you’d never heard of (but they just look so familiar!), or yes, a bag that you saw and suddenly must have.

Information Overload

It can be hard to define your individual sense of style when so much is thrown your way. Influencers, celebrities, and the brands themselves work hard to put out messaging that’s meant to tell you everything from what you should put on your body to what you should put IN your body.

The social media advertising market is set to reach a staggering $247.30 billion by 2027. Social media users (an estimated 4.9 billion people worldwide) indirectly consent to this information overload the minute their username is created.

At that moment, we’re immediately told what to buy, how to dress, what music to listen to, where to travel, etc. There is SO much information gracing our consciousness—and our subconscious. I know this, you know this, and it’s up to us to take all this information and do what we wish with it.

The Influencer Conundrum

Like anything, there are downsides to social media and the digital age, but if we’re careful, we can use all of this information to our advantage. Plus, as the world of social media marketing has evolved over the last decade, consumers like you and I are savvy and well aware of the marketing dollars and creative minds that go into influencing us.

Still, many of us hate to admit when we “fall victim” to social media marketing, playfully joking about it to our friends. “I saw it on Instagram,” I’ve often heard myself mutter in a hushed whisper, suddenly lowering my voice by 4 octaves when asked about a new shirt or the latest lip color I’ve been sporting.

I’ve heard friends do the same thing, both those who work in the industry and those who don’t. What is it about being influenced that is so triggering to consumers?

It’s an influencer’s job to, well, influence. Still, many of us hate to admit to being impacted by them, as if buying something we saw first on someone else is a personal attack on our individuality. Why is that?

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Mel
Mel
1 month ago

I think to a certain degree, admitting that you’ve been influenced means admitting that you’ve bought into a fantasy – because so much of what influencers “sell” is just that. The fantasy that you’re beautiful, young, rich, with places to go, people to meet. We buy to a certain extent because subconsciously we think, “maybe if I buy this, I’ll become that person, with that life”. Deep down we know that it’s a fantasy and that it’s ridiculous, which is why we are slightly ashamed to admit it – it’s knowing that it’s a sham, but buying into it anyway, and sometimes admitting it makes us realise how silly we are and that’s an uncomfortable experience.

Hervé
Hervé
1 month ago
Reply to  Mel

Very well said.

Lara
Lara
1 month ago

When you are younger, you are easily influenced – I’d say part of the beauty of aging is to emancipate yourself from that. I am also not sure that everything should be labelled ‘influence’ – you could also just be inspired. Influence has a negative connotation and we would rather be the influencer than the influenced – lead, not follow, basically. And we are taught from an early age that leading is where it’s at.

Sandy
Sandy
1 month ago

If I do not care for something I don’t care who is wearing or carrying it, not happening for me. I buy only things that fit my style and lifestyle.

Passerine
Passerine
1 month ago

Of course we’re influenced. But not necessarily by “influencers“. I’m not on IG or TikTok so influencers on those channels have little to no impact on me. When it comes to bags, I’m most influenced by the bags I see being carried by women out and about in the real world, esp in Paris, Italy and here in Switzerland. And yes, Purse Blog and the PB Forums also are an influence.

Madame P
Madame P
1 month ago
Reply to  Passerine

I would say that since so many people are “influenced” by content creators on social media, you and me are also indirectly influenced by them—even though our presence on these platforms may be very limited. You may have seen a woman in Paris carry a great bag she originally picked because of a TikTok video.

Passerine
Passerine
1 month ago
Reply to  Madame P

Or not. There is no concrete link. My most recent bag purchase had no social media support.

If anything, I find the choices of many social media mavens distinctly UNappealing. A reverse influence.

Madame P
Madame P
1 month ago
Reply to  Passerine

lol the denial is real.

Thefashionableteacher
Thefashionableteacher
1 month ago

In all honesty, I’ve been influenced to try new restaurants in my city. That’s pretty much it. Most marketing and influences usually don’t fit my style, demographic, or price range. I’m also not into trends. I like what I like. I also think that it’s because I’m older. If I were in my 20s at this moment, maybe.

Paris
Paris
1 month ago

I see current “Influencers” as targeting a younger group of perhaps 20-30 y.o., but they are also relatively new in comparison to prior “Influencers”, if you will. They include models i.e. Twiggy, Kate Moss, etc. Also, actresses Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn and everyone else who followed them. Or, Jackie Kennedy Onassis with her suits & pill box hats (she was a great Influencer). And, adveretisers caught the public’s eye in fashion magazines like Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Glamour, Life Magazine, etc. So, “Influencers” are nothing new, but are perhaps more visible and have a wider platform due to the introduction of social media.

Terri
Terri
1 month ago

I admit, I was easily influenced by trends when I was younger. I bought three bags of the same design and size, just in different colors, and the same thing happened with pants! Looking back, I sometimes cringe and wish I’d listened to my parents’ advice about saving and investing. But hey, that’s part of learning and growing up, right?

Slim
Slim
1 month ago
Reply to  Terri

Ditto!!!

Jaime
Jaime
1 month ago

I am easily influenced by styling. Not necessarily the product itself. I very early realized while “influencers” are gifted items, I am paying for these items. On the flip side influencers never repeat styles or bags and that is definitely not realistic for most people.

Myra
Myra
1 month ago

Because the word influenced has a negative connotation. Influenced implies that someone strongly changed our behaviour, when really they may have just shown us something we didn’t know of before. Everyone tries to maintain an element of individuality so to make it seem like someone, especially strangers, have control over our tastes feels very off-putting. Influencers need a new term as many of them dislike it too, it has a manipulative feel. Inspiring us is a better way to describe it, but not nearly as catchy. Maybe Purse Blog can come up with a new term?

vesna
vesna
1 month ago

I am not really too worried about the effect of influence on my own personality. I am very curious about everything, love to watch artists at play, and fashion talent is a visual art. I grew up as grunge, still keeping that vibe, but I also like to see if others have some cool ideas. So, when Chiara Ferragni just started her blog ages ago “”The Blonde salad””, I was amused and entertained. I would occasionally open the blog to see if she had some fun ideas about outfits. Not that I was lacking mine, but it was fun to see someone with taste combining interesting stuff. She was not getting promotions at that time, her boyfriend was taking photos of her in interesting outfits. I still remember realizing that it was a great idea to wear grey Canadian Mukluks with a grey Miu Miu tote with a parka…then I saw her in a Missoni wrap which was flying in the air…and loved it. Found it years later and still love it. Her, and Kate Moss, Vivienne Westwood and few others have/had the talent for a good message via outfit. Either fun or political, or just pretty. I looked at their ideas through my lens. Like an art exhibition of the artists you like. At one point Chiara started looking too glittery, strange and with to much of everything piled up and I simply stopped looking at her blog. Not with a judgment, she just evolved in a different direction. Now I realize it was the time of getting free stuff to post, all that started being a job. That kind of influence is very visible and does not reflect natural taste. Because of that I am immune to Instragram , but am watching my daughter and her friends and am finding cute ideas.