You might think getting mugged cannot be explained by standard business theories because that does not sound like a typical business transaction. But mugging is a business in the sense that customers pay money (and other belongings) for something of value in return.
The value you pay for when you’re getting mugged is the benefit of not being stabbed (or whatever attack they threat you with). The more you fear being stabbed, and the more certain you are that the mugger is not bluffing, the more willing you will be to pay more.
A similar phenomenon happens when companies try to sell you something using scare tactics. For an example, the more you hate getting fat, the more willing you will be to pay more for weight-loss products. There’s a reason fashion magazines choose to place advertisements for those types of products right next to a full page photo of a skinny model. It makes you feel more insecure.
The same is true for acne cream, body lotion and many other products as well. Basically any product in the beauty category (but not limited to that). The more you fear looking ugly, the more you will pay for beauty products.
Does a Mugger Have a Brand?
Yes. A mugger’s brand image should be one of fear and intimidation. Their clothes, posture, physical built, tone of voice etc help them in communicating that image to their “customers”. They are to them what logos, fonts, jingles and packaging are to corporations.
Now it’s important to note that the point of this article is not to compare corporations to muggers or call them unethical. Fear acts as a motivating factor for many actions in life. And that is true for actions that involve exchange of money (business) as well.
By the way, it goes without saying, I don’t condone theft, mugging or any other illegal activities.