Which Will Make them Buy? Pleasure or Pain?

by | Aug 8, 2008 | Marketing & Selling

Regardless of what others might say, purchasing is an emotional decision. People buy because they believe the product or service will help them achieve their most cherished desire or avoid what scares them the most.

O.K. Maybe not all that dramatic, but most purchases do have a pleasure or pain factor to them. For example, I’m at the grocery store and I just happen to walk down the cookie aisle. I see the package of Oreos is on sale. Thinking of how much I love Oreos my hand goes out to grab a package. But then I pause. I remember how the last time I purchased a package of Oreos I gained five pounds.

You see, I have both pleasure and pain associated with purchasing a package of Oreos. Which emotion wins out? Do I buy the package on sale or not?

This is just a simple example of how pleasure and pain can affect a purchasing decision. And, these same emotions can play a role in whether or not prospects purchase your products or services and become clients. So, when you’re thinking about how to market your product, consider what frame of mind your prospects might be in. Are they looking for a way to increase the pleasure in their life through a product or service like yours? Or, are they trying to avoid pain?

In her article, “Should You Market to Pleasure … Or Pain,” Ali Brown wrote, “What state of mind are they in when they are considering hiring you or buying your product? Are they more likely to take action to gain pleasure? Or to make the pain they’re in go away?” Your answer will depend on two things:

  1. What benefits does your product or service impart, and
  2. How do you define your target market?

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