On Business, On Marketing / 29 Jul 2015
What makes people buy?

What makes people buy one thing over an another?

Understanding exactly why people buy would seem to be the philosophers stone of business; only knowing it would surely lead to great riches. As is so often the case, the answer is very simple; people don’t buy because the need something, they buy because they WANT it. Knowing this radically changes the game.

The harsh fact is that nobody needs your product – least of all in a competitive economy where consumers are faced with a bewildering choice. What prompts them to choose one product over another can appear an infuriatingly irrational process. In many ways it is. However, successful businesses are those that realise it and know that buying decisions are prompted not by reason but emotion, the most powerful of which is DESIRE.

Cars are the supreme example of an irrational purchase. There is hardly any logic to it. Taking into account depreciation, running costs, the eye-watering cost of petrol, the state of the roads, speed cameras and the detrimental effects on the environment, buying a car would appear one the more foolhardy decisions we ever make. Car manufacturers know this and whilst they will always make claims about economy and the distance between services, what they are really interested in is telling you just what owning their car is going to do for you.

BMW spend around $200m worldwide advertising their cars. For this you would think that we would be familiar with every nut and bolt, its variable valve timing and just exactly how the drive shaft connects to wheels. We neither want to know or care. $200m was spent telling us that BMW is the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. A 3 Series parked in the drive gives kudos, status and sex-appeal (apparently). It makes a statement, it appeals to the emotions of the BMW kind of buyer and makes them want it beyond all the logic of costs.

Don’t even think your customers NEED what you offer. Instead concentrate on making your customers WANT what you have. Design it, package it, tell them stories about it, pair it with other desirable objects. Treat each customer as the most important person you will meet that day and the price of what you’re selling will move further and further down the decision making process.

When you hear someone say ‘I don’t know what it cost, I just HAD to have’ this is generally not an accident. It’s the result of a sound and effectively applied marketing campaign.

For help generating desire, call us on 020 3623 3308

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