Why do we buy?

. Friday, May 1, 2009
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It has been a while since we updated the MarketR blog. It is ironic because the past 3 weeks we have been working with clients on developing strategies for keeping online content up to date.

Marketing 101: Consumers don't buy features, they buy benefits.

Why do we buy?

Why do we buy those $140 Nike shoes? Or that $1,000 Hugo Boss suit? Some may say because they are comfortable, or that the fit is better than anything else. That person does not understand why they buy.

Luxury good manufacturers don't sell shoes, suits, or even jewelery, they sell confidence, strength, and beauty. That is why we buy the $140 Nike shoes, or the $1,000 Hugo Boss suit. Not for the fit or for the comfort; instead, for the association of strength, confidence and beauty.

As the marketplace becomes increasingly more competitive, products become more and more generic. Take for example the bottled water industry. There are numerous companies selling bottled water, and they are all selling the exact same product. (Some may disagree, but when researchers did blind taste tests participants could not differentiate bottled water from tap water.) Bottled water companies can't promote their convenience because all there competitors are just as convenient. They can't promote their price because water is free. Because of this they have to create an association with an admirable human character trait. For example, Evian is perceived as being classy, and sophisticated. When consumers purchase Evian water they are not purchasing it for the convenience, or for the taste, they are purchasing it to be associated with class and sophistication. (There is a popular joke when talking about Evian water. Just read the word Evian backwards.)

What does this all mean?
It actually means a lot. It means that multi-million dollar corporations only have one thing that separates them from small-medium sized businesses, a multi-million dollar marketing budget. With this budget they are able to manipulate consumers into believing that purchasing overpriced shoes will result in admirable character traits such as confidence, strength and beauty.

Stop selling your product. Start selling your brand!
What does your company stand for? It isn't goods, or services. It is the desire to give back to the local community, it is your love for the environment, it is your dedication to volunteering. Consumers don't buy Nike shoes, they buy everything that Nike stands for.

MarketR allows you to promote what your company stands for without the multi-million dollar marketing budget.