The rise of instant gratification: Meeting customer demands in a blink

Instant gratification is all around us. Social media, video games and movies all display an insane amount of gratification-packed moments that keep us hooked to the screen.

In this article, we will explore the world of customer expectations and why customers want more and more gratification from their brands.

From the captivating allure of social media to the addictive nature of video games and movies, we’ll uncover the incredible power of those gratification-fuelled moments that keep us glued to our screens. Get ready for an insightful journey into the world of instant gratification and its impact on our relationship with brands.

Let’s get started!

Gratification equals dopamine, and dopamine associated with a specific brand leads to some scary good sales.

What is instant gratification in marketing?

In its literary context, the meaning of instant gratification can be boiled down to a simple formula:

Little effort = Huge reward.

We could rant on for hours about how instant gratification boosts eCommerce sales by manipulating human psychology and our innate drive to seek pleasure… But instead, let’s look at some real examples of instant gratifications and how they are used in marketing:

– Flash deals: A 90% discount that only lasts 24 hours? Yes, please! Flash deals manipulate our instincts, which tell us to hoard as much as possible in case disaster strikes.

Well, seizing an opportunity makes us believe we got something so much better than what it actually is in reality, giving us pleasure. Just think about every time you told your friend “I got it at half-price”, even if it’s not even relevant to the conversation.

– Coupons: Everybody who has ever used a coupon to get a free Big Mac or grab a 2 for 1 at your local convenience store knows how good using a coupon feels. Seriously, it’s almost as if life had cheat codes for unlimited money!

– Instant delivery: You know how Amazon Prime rose to the top in such a brief period of time? By cutting down the time between purchase and delivery.

The psychology behind this isn’t complicated: While you are still in high about buying your thing, the thing arrives, increasing your satisfaction level.

Another example of instant delivery is through access to exclusive content.

– Gamification: We have explored gamification in great detail in a previous article, but in a nutshell, you want your marketing experience to feel like a videogame, rather than a chore.

– One-click ordering: Another trick Amazon uses to give you instant gratification is cutting down the time it takes for a user to order an item.

Buying something makes us feel good, so chopping up the time between thinking and acting is a brilliant scheme designed to make you act impulsively and gratify yourself easily.

How does modern society encourage instant gratification?

Modern society THRIVES on instant gratification. 

Here are the top five ways this seductive strategy is used culturally:

  • Social media “doom scrolling”: You know the routine. You hop onto Instagram and end up wasting 3 hours scrolling through the endless amount of content you can consume. This is instant gratification at its finest. However, it is proven that social media fries your happy chemicals, leading to an increased likelihood of developing depression.


  • Fast-paced culture: modern advertising implies instant gratification every time it promises something with a fast turnaround. Get-rich-quick schemes are alive and thriving simply because you want results as fast as possible – however, it’s important to remember that big results come from consistent efforts over a long period of time, such as SEO strategies.


  • Financial practices: When was the last time you paid something with your contactless card or your phone? Well, you just experienced instant gratification. Your brain immediately associates the act of spending money with something good, which reinforces this behaviour for the future.

3 examples of instant gratification used by companies:


Amazon is the king of instant gratification. Nothing gets your dopamine riled up quite like a shopping spree, and Amazon is always there suggesting new exciting products for you to hoard like a possum rummaging through the garbage.

It’s a cunning strategy that keeps us coming back for more, eager to experience that rush of instant satisfaction that only Amazon seems to deliver.

Amazon not only manages to increase its sales through SEO techniques but also deploys several of the strategies named in this article, but to name a few:

– Instant delivery: Amazon Prime offers delivery in 24 hours, which gives us double the gratification. Convenient and quite affordable, this keeps us excited and eager for more.

– One-click purchase: Bought in a button or less. It makes you forget you are actually spending money, and giving you instant satisfaction with every purchase!

– An endless list of suggested items: Anyone who ever decorated their house knows how satisfying mixing and matching items actually is. And Amazon algorithm is designed to give you an endless supply of things you may want, keeping you hooked (and keeping your wallet crying!).


Ah, the kingdom of coffee where Starbucks reigns supreme! This giant mastered the art of instant gratification like no other. 

Picture this: you stroll into a Starbucks store, and before you can even say “caffeine cravings,” they’ve got you covered. 

Their stores are like magical portals to quick and convenient bliss. You simply order your favourite beverage, and voila! In a jiffy, your drink is expertly prepared, ready to dazzle your taste buds. And let’s not forget about that heavenly aroma that envelops you as you wait in anticipation. Yep, they even use particular nice smells to alter our buying behaviours, it’s called neuromarketing!

Starbucks knows that personalisation is key to our happiness, so they offer an array of customisable options. Want an extra shot of espresso or a sprinkle of cinnamon? No problem! 

They’ve got your back, ensuring your caffeine concoction is just the way you like it. 

It’s not just about the speed and customisation, though:

The secret ingredient that adds to the instant gratification is the sheer joy that comes from sipping that perfectly crafted cup of coffee. It’s the magic of Starbucks, keeping us coming back day after day for our delightful dose of instant caffeinated happiness.


With a mere click of a button, Netflix opens the gates to a vast kingdom of movies and TV shows, all at your fingertips, ready to whisk you away on captivating adventures. It’s like having a personal genie granting your entertainment wishes. 

Want to start a new series? Boom! Instantly at your service. 

Feel like pausing and resuming a show whenever you please? You got it! Netflix is the master of delivering instant gratification in the realm of entertainment. 

They’ve crafted a digital wonderland where you can immerse yourself in thrilling stories and addictive narratives without having to wait for pesky commercial breaks or endure the agony of cliffhangers. 

It’s a place where your entertainment desires are met with lightning-fast speed, and the only limit is your popcorn supply. 

So, grab that remote, prepare the snacks, and let Netflix whisk you away to a world of instant gratification, where every click brings you closer to entertainment ecstasy.

How does instant gratification affect customers' brain

Instant gratification is good for business simply because the logic behind it is already deeply rooted in the customer’s brain.

Gratification equals dopamine, and dopamine associated with a specific brand leads to some scary good sales.

Here is exactly how instant gratification affects your customer’s brain:

– The customer feels rewarded: Instant gratification activates the part of your brain responsible for pleasurable experiences. This activation reinforces the wanted behaviour and associates your brand with a positive stimulus. It’s ugly to say, but it’s exactly the same strategy used to train dogs: A wanted behaviour is rewarded with a treat. However, instead of trying to make your customer bark, you want them to buy your product or subscribe to your newsletter.

– Increased motivation: Instant gratification pushes the customer to seek out similar experiences in the future. So it’s only a pleasurable, yet slippery slope from clicking on your homepage to investing their life savings into your product. To put this into simple words, your brain remembers good things and tries to replicate them, which ultimately influences future purchasing decisions. 

– Reduced self-control: Every time you go shopping, you always buy more than what you need. The desire for immediate pleasure leads customers to impulsive decisions without considering the long-term consequences or alternatives – AKA, they give you more money than their budget allows for. 

–Habit formation: Neural pathways form whenever we do something that feels good. So, an individual, if stimulated enough, will repeatedly perform an action. 

This means that brand loyalty won’t be as strong – but hey, it’s definitely worth investing some of your budgets in developing instant gratification techniques that can help you get more out of interactions with your customer.

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