How do We Decide To Purchase Something?

Before we can even begin to talk about marketing tools, or even strategies, we need to answer the most fundamental question. If marketing is going to make sure someone buys our product, we need to know how we humans make purchase decisions in the first place.

This takes us on an exploration into the fine world of behavioral economics and psychology. At least a short one.

The Two Components: Trust and Desire

While decision making is in itself a fairly complex topic, on which a book could easily be written, the basic two components that we are working with are trust and desire.

Without both of these, no transaction will ever take place. If you don’t want a product, you are not going to buy it. If you don’t trust the seller, you are also not going to buy it.

The amount of trust and desire that we need for a given transaction is going to be dependant on primarily two things:

  1. How large the monetary value of the transaction is.
  2. How important/business critical the purchase is.

Let’s take a very basic example. You want to buy a bar of chocolate. In this case, the desire for chocolate is already there (or else you wouldn’t even be thinking about buying one!). How much trust do we need for this transaction? Not much at all.

The monetary value of a chocolate bar is so little that you aren’t that afraid of what will happen if you purchase from a store you have never visited or seen, or as the case may be, get a chocolate bar that you are unhappy with.

With increasing monetary value and the increasing risk of a non-satisfactory product, more trust is needed to complete the transaction. The more money you spend, the more do you want to be reassured that the seller is indeed trustworthy.

Marketing: Creating Desire & Building Trust

While there are many more aspects to specifically how we choose to buy a given product, these are the most fundamental. They leave us with a crucial insight into what our marketing is all about.

The first part is perhaps nothing surprising. Creating desire. We are all used to adverts trying to convince us to buy something. They are clearly working very hard to creating desire for the product.

Marketing is all about filling your brand with the trust that you deserve, so that the market knows you as a safe bet.

The second part however, while still non-controversial, is one we don’t think as much about. As a business you can take many different paths to building trust with your customers. Here we see the importance of brands, easily illustrated by how successful big brands are. The brand carries trust, and as customers we choose it because we trust their ability to deliver what we want without any hiccoughs.

Summary: Work on Building Trust

To sum it all up, building trust is where you need to focus greatly on as a business without a well-known brand to fall back on. You are working on filling your brand with the trust you deserve, so that you will be right up there as a safe bet when the customer is looking to buy a product that you offer.


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