“People buy external products for internal reasons.” Donald Miller
Think about some of the recent items or services you’ve paid for. Why did you spend that money? Did you buy those sneakers because your old one had holes and you were embarrassed about it? Were they more of a summer shoe and you were annoyed that your feet felt cold all the time? Did you see similar shoes on someone you admire and you were a little jealous?
Behind every type of every purchase is an emotion. If you can identify the emotion that resonates with the majority of your customers, and speak to that in your messaging--you are going to have much more success than your peers at working with your ideal customer.
The first step in identifying the emotion is figuring out where your product or service fits in the scheme of human needs. There are many but below we’ve listed three of the most common.
- They need to get out of some kind of trouble. Their heat is broken. The power is out. They got in a car accident. Something has happened and now they need to invest in some help to get out of it.
- They want to show their status. Booking an exclusive vacation. Buying a certain purse. Belonging to a special club. They want to invest in things that show the world that (or give the appearance that) they have “made it.”
- They want to exercise their philanthropic side. Save the whales. Increase the minimum wage. Provide healthcare in third world countries. Sometimes people want to know that they are doing more with their investments.
Figure out where your business sits in the overarching human experience, and also figure out what emotion is driving your ideal client to you. Once you’ve done that--you can use your marketing to remind people how much better/cooler/safer they will feel with your product. And that will resonate with them more than what most of your peers and competitors are doing.
Amy Mertz is our Creative Director, StoryBrand Certified Guide, and copy writer. When not in the office you can find her chasing down her toddler, searching the land for great coffee, or espousing the current books on her nightstand.