Logic tells us you buy what you need when you need it. You need a new purse, you go buy one. Your shoes are getting worn. So, you buy another pair that suits your needs at a fair price. To some extent, logic impacts buying choices. You will go buy the purse and shoes. But, from whom? The buying process is as emotional as it is logical. That's a scary reality to advertisers. Emotions are fickle and unpredictable. How are you supposed to advertise a product to customer emotions that change by the minute? The key is to understand your customers' desires and how these feelings impact their buying decision.

The buying emotions:

Not every emotion makes your customers start throwing money at you. But there are some that motivate customers to buy. You want to understand these in your branding and advertising.

A sense of belonging:

Everyone wants to belong somewhere. That is ingrained into us. We desire a sense of community. Starbucks understands that emotion well. Their baristas are trained to create a 'third place or home' within the store. When you walk into work with your Starbucks cup in hand it tells everyone you appreciate a fine cup of coffee. You're in the club.


This one is so challenging. Trust is difficult to earn and easy to lose. Wells Fargo is a prime example. They have been a successful bank for years. They had a solid reputation. But, some of their salespeople behaved unethically. They opened several fake accounts to boost their sales numbers. Wells Fargo was charged with fraud and lost the trust they once had with their customers. These events hurt Wells Fargo's brand.

Do your values match the company values?

Often you are not simply looking for a pair of shoes, a shirt or even a loaf of bread. Logically, you need it but that's not why you buy from a company. As the customer, you have many options. You don't have to settle for the brand whose values don't align with yours.  Tom's shoes understand this perfectly. For every pair of shoes bought they donate a pair to someone in need. Tom's has many competitors. They sell simple canvass shoes which the competition has replicated. Many sell their shoes for less than Tom's. But, they don't have the values Tom's does. Customers buy Tom's shoes because their corporate values match their own.


If you can't wait for your order to arrive at your house the brand is doing something right. Clinique does this so well. First, you get the high-quality product you ordered. But, you are also rewarded with free products and samples for making a purchase. The customer feels they are getting a great value. They are happy when their box arrives at the door.

Happiness also ties into content marketing. Studies show that negative content gets more clicks. But, positive content earns higher shares. The clicks may get you one customer. Yet, the shares are where the money is. Customers are telling their friends about you by sharing your content. This type of referral marketing is good for business.


You don't want to be the only person in the office without a designer bag. If all your friends are going to Austin City Limits Festival, you don't want to be left at home. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a trigger for impulse or rushed buying.  It ties back into that sense of belonging.

How being bold and taking risks can benefit the brand:

Tom's stood to lose half of their profits with their one for one policy. But, they were bold and took the risk anyway. Now they are a profitable shoe company that kept their values. This strategy may not work for every brand. It worked for Tom's because they understood their customers' values and emotions. Even if the price is less they only want to do business with ethical companies.

The key to success:

Don't be afraid to be bold and take a risk with your brand. But, it must be a calculated risk. Make sure you understand the emotions involved in your customers buying decisions. Your brand should set you apart from the competition. Going against the norm is intimidating. But, a bold move can pay off when done correctly.