The fear of missing out (FOMO) is more powerful than the fear of losing “― Naved Abdali

Crocs are not that cute, let us be honest. There is no other way to say it, irrespective of how many charms you put on them and how well you spell your name, they are still not that cute. Only three years ago, some of you would never be caught dead wearing them. I have a pair, but hey, I choose comfort over beauty ALWAYS!

Geles are torture and you cannot afford that Aso-Ebi. If we know this (and yes, deep down we do) the question is, why do we still put ourselves through so much grief? Why do we use our money to buy pain? I will tell you why: FOMO; the fear of missing out which some refer to as peer pressure. It has led us to do things that are the opposite of how we truly feel, all because we do not want to feel left out. Interesting right?

I still remember my first encounter with FOMO. It was years ago in my university days when a doughnut seller would chant with such energy ‘Hot doughnut.’ She always managed to ‘appear’ when my tummy was rumbling. Interestingly, I remember not liking doughnuts very much (I still don’t) but the scramble and the fear of ‘missing out’ got me out of my bed to join the hustle to get her to my room. It was not just her then, there were jewellery sellers, makeup, and clothes sellers who came at the right time and brought with them this fear.

It made no sense to me then, how could it? I was just an innocent consumer. Fast forward to a few years later and FOMO resurfaced even stronger than before. I felt it in movie trailers, the streets of Instagram, at work and even restaurants…it was everywhere. Just in case you still have not noticed it, I will give a few examples:

  • Ever rushed to watch a movie because everyone was raving about it?
  • Ever went to a restaurant that you knew could do long-lasting damage to your pocket because the food bloggers labelled it cool?
  • Ever started running on Lekki bridge (when you know you hate running) because all your friends were recording Nike steps on Instagram?

Ponder no further people; it is FOOOOOOMMMOOOO! Now that we can recognise it, we must also know that FOMO, like every other potential marketing strategy, can be used for good or bad. It is important that you are responsible with it and note that you must not abuse it. I am here to teach you how to use it for good.

It starts with offering a superior product or service. I cannot overemphasise how important this is; if not I am afraid, the only person missing out will be you. The next step is to identify your Unique Selling Point-USP (I know you have heard this before, but trust me, it’s important). You must know what truly stands about your business; this can be recyclable packaging, an ingredient, flavour, secret recipe or even the way in which your product or service is sold.

When you have figured this out, the next step is for you to know what value is to your consumer, what they care about. Do they care about their clothes folded in triangles or do they want their laundry dropped off for them? Do they want their beans picked or in powder form? This information, you must have.

Next step is to weave the needs of your customer with the USP and then launch the 3C’s! Communicate this clearly, creatively, and confidently (say it with your full chest, my friend) . Nobody will appreciate that selling your biscuit in recyclable packaging is great for the environment and that it can change different colours till you tell them with your full chest.

Next step, try limited and exclusive offers ‘not every time, it is available till eternity. Sometimes, create something unique that is not always available’.

Leverage your reviews (the real ones please) that project what stand about your product or service offering. They should be your secret weapon; hold on to them and use them as your ‘pepper them spray’ that you can sprinkle when you need to.

Now that you have learnt, lesson is over, please feel free to raise your shoulders high, you have officially arrived!  You now know what FOMO is,  go forth and use it strategically and responsibly.