Recently CNN had a report about what people consider luxury versus necessity with often surprising answers – high speed Internet is considered a necessity but a dishwasher is a luxury product. In analyzing three weeks of May lead reports for a client we posed this question to ourselves about some of their products and services against one of my favorite books about why people buy – “Rapid Response Advertising” by Geoff Ayling. Here are just a few reasons to try on yourselves:
• To make more money (Had to use that one on the CPA to justify the sweet new iMacs.)
• To look younger (Just look at all those skin creams that cost as much as a dishwasher!)
• To be trendy (Who knew a cross between a plastic spatula and a gardening shoe would be such a hit?)
• To escape or avoid pain (Reason #16 why bars should never go out of business.)
• To feel safe (Hey, who wouldn’t feel safer driving around in a Hummer?)
• To satisfy an impulse (How else do the blinking rosebud manufacturers stay in business?)
• To become more fit and healthy (Is this why the ab machine, dumbbells, giant rubber bands and deflated exercise ball are still under the bed?)
• To protect their reputation (3 initials: B-M-W)
• To escape stress (Where can I buy some more?)
• To buy friendship (So I guess it IS for sale.)
There isn’t really one industry that can capitalize on all of the 51 reasons people buy, but if we can define and apply just a few, it makes winning over customers’ hearts and wallets just a little easier.
Working on a recent client email blast campaign I was reminded how quick we as marketers can be to forget that the segmented, geotargeted list of names are actually human beings with jobs, families and everyday issues like the rest of us.While our client was adamant about touting the great sales offer, we had to gently pull back the reins and get them thinking about why these people in excel spreadsheet boxes would actually care about their product.
To validate our point, I shared a great article from MarketingProfs by Karen Talavera that suggests ways we can keep our communications with people real.
• Speak in conversational terms. Create copy with an approachable tone that initiates dialogue. Customers will appreciate that you’re paying attention and acknowledging them as live humans.
• Show your personality. If your company has a familiar spokesperson, persona or character, be sure to leverage its power in your emails. We have higher clickthroughs each time we use one of our client-owners as the voice of the email blast.
• Invite subscribers to join in. Actively encourage user-generated content. There is something about interacting, benefiting, or learning directly from you that encourages better buy-in of the messaging.
Realizing that the goal of any good direct-response effort should be a dialogue will actually get those humans to open up both their emails and their wallets.
One of my girlfriends is headed to NYC in a couple of weeks and is thrilled about the prospect of finding this season’s new fake Prada bag. I pretended to be excited for her sake. Today I read an article, “Why Do Consumers Buy Counterfeit Luxury Brands?” by Keith Wilcox, Hyeong Min Kim and Sankar Sen, which actually makes me feel better as a consumer because I wonder why women go nuts to buy these worthless copies. The article sites a recent study that explains this behavior.
Researchers did one experiment focused on buyer attitudes that serve two distinct “social functions” – the “social-adjustive” (this will help me fit in) and the “value-expressive”(this will help me stand out). The researchers showed two different images of a “fake” Louis Vuitton handbag to two randomly chosen groups of women. One group saw the bag with a conspicuous logo, and the other saw the bag without it. The women then answered a questionnaire that classified their attitudes and their willingness to buy the fake.
Results showed that those subjects classified as “social-adjustive” were the most likely to buy the fake bag, especially when it had a conspicuous logo. The appeal of seeming to fit in with an elite group was strong enough to make these shoppers risk buying the flashy fake. The researchers’ doled out this advice to luxury goods manufacturers: tout the in-crowd status of owning the real luxury item and depict the shame of being discovered with a knockoff.
I just wonder if my girlfriend would have participated in the study if she’d still be up all night googling street corners in NYC.