Do You Understand Why Customers Buy Your Products?

Guest Contributor Chris Blanton is a former serial entrepreneur and business
advisor. He is currently editor of Ingenious Business Guide, a collection of proven practical techniques to ignite business growth and profitability. He can be reached by email and tweets under the handle @cmblanton. His guests posts appear here each Sunday.

One of the most important questions business owners should be able to answer is why their customers are buying their product or services. You have to determine what benefit your customers pay for. You can employ a skilled marketing consultant to guide you in this exercise. But if you’re determined to go it alone, you can get great mileage performing a thought experiment to uncover the true benefit your client realizes buying from you.
Our consumer culture so artfully manipulates us that we are often unaware of our own motivation. For instance, examine the process of buying a new car. Why does someone buy a new car? What wants or needs does it satisfy?

Initially one might think a person buys a new car for transportation. But wouldn’t that be the last reason anyone would buy a new car? Sit quietly and think about owning a new car. What is it that one really wants out of the experience? The new car smell? The shiny object itself? The lower mileage? The monthly payments? (“Hey, wait a minute…!”)
If you sift through all the rationalizations you will uncover your emotional motives… you want it because it’s exciting. You can’t wait to sit behind the wheel and drive something so sleek and elegant.
But we still haven’t drilled down to the base reason. You want the car because it’s elegant? What need does that satisfy? So return to the thought experiment and imagine yourself behind the wheel of that car. What thoughts and feelings are you experiencing? Are you visualizing taking your sweetheart out in the car? Or your friends? Is it going to keep your kids safe or serve as a chick magnet?
If you sit long enough, you’ll sift through all the rationalizations and arrive at the fundamental emotional needs that buying that new automobile will supposedly satisfy. Now do this for your product or service from a prospective client’s point of view.
Once you’ve determined the emotional reasons your customers buy, couch your presentation to appeal to those emotions. In your ads explain the benefit you can provide in a way that excites their senses. Your objective is to make them want your offering more than their money. The more time and energy you put into this exercise, the greater the return you’ll realize. We’ll be honing your copy during the testing phase so we just need a good starting point. If you don’t get the marketing message perfect the first time, it’ll improve over time.