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Why People Purchase: And Why You Need to Know

Understanding consumer purchasing motivations is critical for copywriters because it enables you to create effective and persuasive marketing messages that resonate with their target audience.


Research typically breaks down purchasing needs into three:


A. Functional Needs - Consumers buy products or services to fulfil their basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and transportation.


B. Psychological Needs - Consumers buy products or services to fulfil their psychological needs such as self-esteem, social recognition, and personal satisfaction.


C. Social Needs - Consumers buy products or services to fulfil their social needs such as the desire to fit in with a particular social group or to be perceived as part of a particular social class.


However, on a practical side, the following list of motivations offers a much clearer concept of what motivates people to purchase.

1. Need: Consumers purchase products or services out of necessity, such as food, clothing, and housing.

2. Status: Consumers purchase products or services to gain or maintain a certain social status or prestige, such as luxury items or high-end technology.

3. Convenience: Consumers purchase products or services for their convenience, such as fast food or online shopping.

4. Savings: Consumers purchase products or services to save money, such as buying in bulk or using coupons.

5. Experience: Consumers purchase products or services for the experience they provide, such as travel or entertainment.

6. Personalization: Consumers purchase products or services that are customized to their individual needs or preferences, such as personalized gifts or tailored clothing.

7. Trust: Consumers purchase products or services from brands they trust, such as those with a good reputation or positive reviews.

8. Nostalgia: Consumers purchase products or services that evoke a sense of nostalgia or sentimentality, such as retro-style products or vintage cars.

9. Influence: Consumers purchase products or services to follow the trends or influence of others, such as popular fashion or tech trends.

10. Altruism: Consumers purchase products or services for the benefit of others, such as charitable donations or environmentally-friendly products.

11. Protection: Consumers purchase products or services for protection, such as insurance policies or security systems.

12. Self-improvement: Consumers purchase products or services to improve themselves, such as fitness equipment or educational courses.

13. Variety: Consumers purchase products or services to satisfy their desire for variety, such as trying new foods or traveling to new places.

14. Competition: Consumers purchase products or services to compete with others, such as sporting equipment or video games.

15. Identification: Consumers purchase products or services to identify with a particular group or subculture, such as music or fashion.

16. Tradition: Consumers purchase products or services that are part of their cultural or traditional practices, such as holiday decorations or religious items.

17. Novelty: Consumers purchase products or services for their novelty or uniqueness, such as limited edition items or one-of-a-kind artwork.

18. Impulse: Consumers purchase products or services on impulse or for instant gratification, such as snacks or luxury items.

19. Emotional response: Consumers purchase products or services for the emotional response they provide, such as uplifting music or sentimental gifts.

20. Investment: Consumers purchase products or services as investments, such as real estate or fine art.


When you understand what motivates consumers to make a purchase, you can create copy that speaks directly to those motivations. This can then increase the effectiveness of your copy and ultimately lead to more conversions and sales.


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