Marketing for Small Businesses

Marketing Your Product: Buying Is an Emotional Decision

Buying Is an Emotional Decision

Why Do Consumers Buy One Product Over Another?

95% of all purchase decisions are subconscious, emotional decisions. And that’s not just me saying that—this is something that’s backed by science. Neuroscience has proven we buy on emotion, then justify with logic. This is according to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman. When marketing a product to your consumer, it’s most effective to target the subconscious mind. But what does that mean?

Well, believe it or not, most of us aren’t really consumer-savvy. Oh sure we talk about comparing features and prices or evaluating one product over another, but that’s not what we’re really doing. Our mind is already made up. We’re just looking for reasons to justify it. But don’t take it personally, this is all happening subconsciously.

You see, emotion is what really drives purchasing behavior, and decision-making in general. We buy things because they make us feel good, they excite us, they make us comfortable, they promise adventure, an athletic edge, companionship, romance, or to make our lives easier. These are things we can relate to, that we make an emotional connection from a single glance, and it should be what YOU are focusing on when you’re marketing and selling your products.

Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

How to Make That Emotional Connection

This is where design and content writing comes heavily into play. Certain colors and shapes can make people feel a certain way. Certain words can invoke feelings. Look at your email subject line. Look at your hero image or social media post. How does it make you feel? Is that the emotional response you’re going for? Does this emotional response coincide with your brand? Your product description, your email, your posts, should always try to lead with emotion first, facts second. How much of each depends on what media we’re talking about because each is different. For example, if this were an email, I wouldn’t want any more than three bullets that expressly define the product’s benefit (WIIFM—What’s In It For Me). But if it were a landing page on a website, I’d want a lot more. A social media post, a lot less, if any. Your audience responds in different ways to different types of media, so you have to learn what resonates best with your audience and build from there.

A promo for food should make you feel hungry. A promo for new designer shoes should make you want to feel like an athlete. A promo for jewelry should make you want to feel beautiful.

How does your marketing make you feel? You can reach me on Twitter at @chuckverhey.

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