When customers walk down an aisle and stop to ponder purchasing one brand over another or research what product or service is going to best suit their needs, what makes them decide to pick one over the other? Is it perhaps brand equity? Maybe packaging or design? Or could it be one of the many other factors customers consider?

The Need to Connect

question-marksTrying to connect with the customer on a more intimate level can be quite the challenge. Engagement marketing has deeply affected the manner in which people make their purchasing decisions. What was once a simple, straight-line path-to-purchase process with clear steps made pre-purchase, and at the point of purchase, is now a multi-stage process where online and offline influences are used to evaluate, source, select and advocate the brands we love. Along the way, there is a dizzying assortment of touch points, including: social media, traditional media, direct marketing, in-store communications and of course the all powerful word-of-mouth influences.

Trying to connect with the customer on a more intimate level can be quite the challenge. Engagement marketing has deeply affected the manner in which people make their purchasing decisions.

Tips to Connect

Below are some quick tips and insights to better help you understand exactly why people buy:

Tip 1

There are two basic thinking patterns that people generally fall into;

a. Some see what is there, or are “glass half full”.

b. Some who tend to see what is missing or what they want to steer clear of, or “glass half empty”.

When developing your messaging for each of these behaviors, keep these groups in mind. How you create brand conversations can vary greatly depending on who you are appealing to; some people want versus what some see as missing or want to avoid.

Tip 2

Inspire people to want to engage or buy your brand.  Make sure that you give them a remarkable reason to believe in you, what you stand for, and what you offer. Show them a better way of doing things, don’t force them to think too much, and take the fear out of process.

People can be interested and not buy. People can want something and not buy it. However, if people believe in a product or service, the only thing that keeps them from buying is the opportunity or a cost that is beyond their means. Try to alleviate these hesitations; comfort them with warranties, follow-up service, and other initiatives that show you are in it for the long haul.

Tip 3

People don’t buy “things”… they buy usefulness, beauty or joy; ensure you cater to this notion.

Tip 4

Unexpected rewards work better than regular rewards as expected rewards diminish in terms of impact, becoming normalized over time. Surprise a customer with small symbolic rewards, as they will be just as effective as grand expensive gestures.

Key Take Away

You need to truly understand why people make the decisions they do in order to connect with them on the same level. Ultimately, your brand should exist to fulfill, or better yet exceed, your customers’ needs and wants. When you reach this point you will be well on your way to creating a cult brand following that engages customers on a whole other level than those that merely exist to sell a product or service.

You need to truly understand why people make the decisions they do in order to connect with them on the same level.