Reasons why People Buy Things

“Once you understand what makes people buy things, you know how to sell – and how to write copy.” – Robert W. Bly

Companies know exactly what they want to achieve, the features and benefits their brand can bring, their mission and vision statements – everything regarding their company. In addition, they feel elated about their products and or services, and in the excitement often forget to understand how customers feel about their brand / company. They forget the real reasons why people buy or do not. The fact is irrespective of how good a company may feel about itself and its offerings, it is the customers who ultimately decide whether companies should feel good or not. It is important therefore, for companies to clearly define their brand and offerings, and give customers enough reasons to buy from them long term.

Does your company know the reasons why people buy? According to experts, most of the time people are rushed and hence many of their decisions are unconscious and part of routine. It helps them to go about their work faster than if they were constantly thinking through every detail of what they needed to do and buy. A lot of the buying happens based on experiences, which would have inclined them towards something – inculcated a bias towards certain products / companies / brands. Brands and marketers must use this ‘distraction’ to their advantage. They should be able to influence customers and prospects towards their products by creating positive associations with their brand. Customers must feel satisfied, at ease, and happy each time they connect with a brand – these feelings would in turn, become embedded in their unconscious mind, and would become the ‘gut’ feel for a brand, leading customers to it each time they need to buy.

For a company to continue selling, it would be necessary for it to understand the reasons why people buy. It would be important to put together marketing and promotional strategies around these reasons – everything companies do centre on and keeping the customer’s perspective and perception in mind. While it is important to know the reasons why people buy, companies must also know why people would buy from them (or not). This would mean that for customers to be drawn towards a company, the company must design its processes, messages, and plans to differentiate itself from competition, and give customers several reasons to buy only the products it offers. Of course, before getting people to buy from the company, it would be necessary to ascertain reasons why people buy, and then satisfy those reasons consistently such that they buy only from the company. There are several reasons why people buy, and most of them seem to be emotional according to market experts. Among the top reasons why people buy, lifestyle, luxury, and esteem enhancement seem to be quite common. Lifestyle related products would fall under this ‘category’ of buying. People buy things like cars, jewellery, accessories, clothing, and such items to make a statement of credibility, status, and confidence. These purchases happen to ‘show off’ social standing and to flaunt ‘buying power’ – these attributes make people feel good about themselves, and boosts their self-confidence. Companies that do sell these products must know the reasons why people buy these items, and must give customers reasons to buy only their products.

When the reasons why people buy are around quality, reliability, durability, and repute, it would mean that customers prefer to exercise caution, towards certain products, and could have had experiences, which contribute to their concern. This means that even if customers can afford the products, they would not buy unless they were completely convinced that the products would satisfy all the mentioned attributes. For example – someone may not buy a high-end luxury car even if it be the ultimate ‘prestige symbol’ simply because the after sales service or roadside assistance of the company did not have a great reputation. People want brands / products that are built to last, serve them well, and make their lives a lot easier. A wide range of features and benefits are also among the top reasons why people buy, and if a company understood this reason, it would make sure to highlight all the benefits and features of its products, and let customers know that no one else in the market would be able to provide anything at par. If companies gave customers reasons to buy from them, they would be able to increase their sales manifold.

Saving time and or money are two other reasons why people buy – very obviously too. With life becoming busier and the price of all commodities increasing steadily, everyone seeks products and companies that would make their lives easier both from the financial and time perspectives. Today time is money – using time effectively can be quantified easily in both monetary and quality terms. When it is time to buy, if customers get the opportunity to save both time and money, these are compelling reasons why people buy, and companies that afford customers both these ‘opportunities’ will find it easier to attract and retain customers.

When a company is able to understand the reasons why people buy, and is able to ‘satisfy’ those reasons, the next step would be to provide compelling reasons to consumers to buy only from the company. The messages and communiqués that a company would send out must revolve around why people should only consider buying from the company. They must understand the feelings and thoughts of their customers, the monetary considerations, the pain areas, and which products or services customers perceive as alleviating their problems and enhancing convenience. The messages should address the questions customers may have about the kind of service provider they want or the kind of products they need. While the company’s website must highlight the benefits, unique advantages, and features of the company and its products, it must also be able to provide for the feelings and emotions of the customers, at the given time they would be trying to decide what and from whom to buy. The more often and consistently a company can identify the reasons why people buy, and provide for those reasons, the more successful it would be at making its competition irrelevant. The company must use its promotional and marketing expertise to connect with customers, and building a relationship. It should be able to create awareness, engagement, and commitment for its products in the mind of the customers.

Understanding the reasons why people buy will help a company go beyond just marketing and sales. A company would build a culture of compassion, empathy, and commitment to keeping customers happy. The manner in which the company would support and serve customers would be consistent with their messages to customers. Not only would the company give customers reasons to buy, it would ensure that customers bought only the company’s products whenever they did have need of those products. Amongst the reasons why people buy, customer service and post-sale attention are also important reasons. It is necessary for a company to deliver outstanding personalized treatment and service to all its customers long after the ‘purchase’.

The reasons why people buy mentioned, are but a few of the compelling reasons, and as a company it would be your responsibility to ascertain the reasons why your target audience would buy, and buy from you. Once your company is able to find the most common reasons why people buy, work on the marketing, promotion, and customer service realms in order to ensure that people buy only from you – consistently.


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