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04 September 2013 by Gary



Do you know which is the most important driver for your customers or consumers when making purchasing decisions? Feelings or facts?

This is a hard question to work out. The logical part of the brain could be the main stimulus. It may be a process. It could start from the recognition of a problem, followed by research and identification of alternative options, before choosing to purchase and finally making the actual purchase. It may be done knowingly, for example by a procurement department, or it may be more intuitive and less identifiable.

But can problem solving or buying things ever be such a clinical, cognitive process. What about feelings?

Sometimes it’s obvious that the limbic or emotional part of the brain system is crucial in the choice to buy. Brands differentiate using emotions so they benefit when impulsive purchasing decisions are made in a ‘blink of the eye’.

For marketers, whatever the industry however, consumer or business-to-business, it is crucial to acknowledge the role of emotions in making buying decisions. It’s about feelings and not just facts. How your customers feel about your brand, your company or your service is a crucial question to ask – trust is based on feelings and emotions.

I think the balance of this varies from business to business. In practice, often it’s a combination of functional and emotional benefits which are satisfied in the purchasing decision. Research can help you with further understanding. Which is more important? It’s a bit like asking the question: ‘which is the most important part of a rectangle, it’s width or its depth?’. Whatever the balance though, don’t forget feelings.

Where do you stand on this?

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