True, people buy to fill a need or want. But if that’s the only reason people buy, then the whole advertising industry might as well close shop and let it be overrun by sales people.
As a freelance copywriter, finding out what motivates people to purchase a particular product is crucial.
Here are 10 reasons why people buy, aside from fulfilling a need or want. There are definitely more, but I’m just being a bit lazy today.
To feel good about themselves – luxury cars, jewelry, yachts and the like.
2. Appear Special
To be like someone else – Brad Pitt Tag Heuer or Aishwarya Rai Loreal anyone?
To reward themselves – that 2-week trip to Paris sounds nice right?
4. Peer Pressure
To belong, or be accepted – smoke this, you’ll feel like a man.
5. Emotional Need
To replace or substitute a loss – nobody loves me, but I love chocolates!
6. Great Bargain
To win – this lawnmower is too cheap, although I don’t need it.
To be hip, cool, awesome – iPhone 5, Onitsuka Kicks, 3DTV… I want them all.
To feel less guilty – awwww… that’s very thoughtful of you, now I got to get you a gift too!
To shut the sales dude up – okay fine, these glow-in-the-dark photo frames are exactly what I need.
It’s easy – why cook when we can tapau, get food delivered or just walk to the nearest mamak?
They’re everywhere these days; those ridiculously low-priced coupon deals for everything from sumptuous 3-course meals to ‘spa treatments’ in dodgy parts of Kepong.
Value-for-money seems to be the favoured business model for many businesses nowadays. But how long before offering products and services on-the-cheap eventually becomes bad for business?
Yes, we all like bargains. But if the bargain does not live up to the intended expectations, most of us would rather pay slightly more the next time – be it for better quality or improved service.
Even if you are satisfied with a particular coupon deal; would you return to the same outlet and pay ‘regular’ price for the same thing? Which – if I may remind you – can be up to 70% more?
If you’re a business, and thinking of jumping onto the coupon deals bandwagon to attract customers, consider these:
- Is it worth cheapening your brand or business by offering high discounts just to attract one-time-only customers?
- You might get a high influx of customers in a short period of time. Can you or your staff handle a flood of customers and serve them properly?
- You don’t usually make a profit, especially if you offer a high discount. Sometimes you won’t even break even. Seems like a pointless exercise.
- Don’t expect prolonged advertising mileage by offering coupon deals. The people who use coupons are bargain-hunters who forget you as soon as you go back to normal price.
- The non-bargain hunter customers (the ones that you really want as customers) will see you as desperate for business. Not the kind of image you want to portray.
So instead of ‘selling out’ your business to coupon deal sites, why not invest in promotions that are easy to create and implement. You get the kind of customers you want, and get to sell at the price you want.
You know who to talk to 😉
Most people think I go to work, write a few headlines and then scoot off to lunch only never to return until the next day. Come to think of it that would be nice; but we all know it doesn’t work that way.
So what it is that I do? I Sell.
But I’ve come to realise that I do not only sell products to consumers; but also sell advertising to clients. So to be able to sell, I need to be able to sell the idea to the client first before being given the go-ahead to sell products to the end consumer.
Sounds confusing? But here’s the kicker.
Before I can even think about selling anything, I first must sell the idea about selling an idea to a client to sell a product to a consumer to my partners first. And I haven’t even written a single line of copy yet.
So with all this selling going on, you tell me… Isn’t advertising fundamentally about selling? Or rather shouldn’t it be all about selling?
Every CEO thinks about how much money he is making as opposed to how wonderful his company’s advertising is, which may be the reason why you see lots of crappy (but often effective) ads out there.
So is there a way to balance a strong sales-driven message with compelling creative? Last I checked, it was called Direct Marketing.