Selling feelings.

Shannonsays.com quotes John at Business Evolutionist:

“People don’t buy 3/4 inch drill bits. They don’t buy 3/4 inch holes. They buy the respect and admiration of people commenting on the picture they’ve hung on the wall using the hole provided by the drill bit.

The drill bit is a tool put to use in service of some goal of the individual. Almost no one cares how the drill bit is made. The hole will be covered up by a picture or covered with paint.”

As Shannon puts it:

It’s not about the hole; it’s about the “feelings” that the hole will bring…. the drill bit and the hole are secondary to the WIIFM factor.

That may be true some of the time, but it really depends on the product, the situation, and the purchaser.

A husband buying a drill bit to hang a picture for his wife doesn’t have the same feeling when the picture hangs, and the manufacturer might not want to use his feelings as part of a branding effort. Then again, maybe they would.

Somebody buying a Cisco router might be buying a product because it makes them feel secure, or maybe because it routes network traffic. On the other hand, I don’t think people buy an inexpensive car for how it makes them feel, rather they are purchasing an economical mode of transport. You could make the argument that they feel like they saved money, but I wouldn’t base a branding exercise on that alone – it’s too easy to compete against.

I think that the higher the price (or the more the perceived value), the more feelings enter into the picture. And the more they can be part of effective branding.

The purchase of an Apple iPod is obviously motivated in large part by hows it makes us feel. Otherwise Creative, selling an identical piece of technology, would have a much larger share. Is a bigger high definition television about feelings, or a better view of the game?

Selling luxury is more about feelings than product. Sometimes selling cheap is what it’s all about. And sometimes, it is just about selling a solution to a problem.

One thought on “Selling feelings.

  1. Great post! Thank you for the link – glad you liked the idea for the post – even if we do have a slightly different take on it! :-)

    Where we are in complete agreement is that it could be different depending on the variables you point out: the product, the situation, the purchaser.

    Thank you again!

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