When we are asked to define our target market, we are quick to mention all the people who ‘need’ our products. However research has shown that people don’t buy what they need, they buy what they want! What do I mean? Does anyone need a 20 carat diamond ring? Would it save their lives or make them more intelligent? No! but I know a lot of women who would die to have that ring. Or does anyone really need a 200,000 dollar Bentley? No! But a lot of men would kill to own the car when they can buy a house with the same amount!
So if people don’t buy what they need but what they want, it shows that people don’t buy logically but emotionally. A positive emotional feeling towards the product, service or even the person selling is more likely to influence why people buy than the features it offers. I talked about that in my last article. Read here. Since we are emotional beings, there are many emotions that affect and influence us and some of these emotions influence our buying decision. These emotions are:
- Love: people would buy because they want to make a love one happy, like when I bought a tablet for my son so he could play all his games. I loved him and wanted to make him happy; I did not even consider his ability to take care of it! People also buy from brands or people they love and their loyalty to them sometimes outweigh their actual need for the product. For example, some people are so loyal to some fashion brands that they buy from them every time they have a new collection, whether they need clothes or not.
- Fear: people buy when they feel that they might be losing something or missing something if they don’t buy immediately. Fear is one of the greatest emotions that motivate people because it is a big part of our survival instinct. We fear that if we don’t make a decision now, we might lose out or suffer, or be rejected. Most of the time, fear is the emotion that motivates people to pay their bills on time, or complete an assignment that is due. Fear of not having the requisite knowledge is what motivates people to read more or take more courses.
- Pride: every human being has a need for accomplishment and this makes us take pride in our acquisitions. A man who was the first to build a house in his family feels very proud, or the lady who just newly acquired a 22inch Human hair weave that she has desired for a long time and was just finally able to afford. In both examples, they are motivated by pride and their desire to acquire things that are not necessarily ‘needs’ but make them feel good about themselves.
- Greed: the truth is most people want more of what they already have! You would think the woman with 50 pairs of shoes would be done buying? Not really, there is still a certain shade or design still lacking from her wardrobe. Or how about the man who has 10 pairs of wristwatches’? Shouldn’t that be enough to wear and not repeat a pair every 10 days? No way, he needs to acquire the latest branded watch with better and more exquisite features. Greed is what guarantees that luxury brands do not run out of business. A lot of them sell year after year to the same small set of people who would continue to have an appetite for their products.
- Guilt/shame: this is a great motivator for purchases especially during special occasions and holidays. A man who has neglected his wife or forgot their anniversary would be willing to dole out some money to buy a gift to appease her. Or kids who have not visited their parents all year round would try to compensate with gifts during the holidays. Guilt or shame motivates people to make up for a perceived loss and is a strong emotion that compels people buy.
Now that you know the emotions that make people buy, are you positioning your products or services to capture or appeal to any of these emotions? I would like to hear from you and get a feedback on how you are applying these emotions to position your products and services.