Why do we shop (till we drop?)

Jay Conrad Levinson posted this superb article including a list of fifty reasons why people buy. It sounds so simple, but could you name fifty reasons from the top of your head? This list is taken form the book “Rapid Response Advertising” by Geoff Ayling.

The list is a great starting point to find out why a certain product might appeal to a group of customers. As Mr. Levinson mentions, this is not a complete list, but it can serve as an excellent checklist when you are trying to figure out who to create a buzz about a certain product or service.

It can also help copy writers who are out of ideas. Or anyone working on a sales pitch. Or purchasing managers looking through their customers eyes …and so on and so on…

You should take this list with you when you go shopping the next time. If the product you are looking at doesn‘t meet any of the criteria on the list don‘t buy it.

Anyway, I’d recommend keeping this one on file.

Here is the list:

1. To make more money – even though it can‘t buy happiness
2. To become more comfortable, even a bit more
3. To attract praise – because almost everybody loves it
4. To increase enjoyment – of life, of business, of virtually anything
5. To possess things of beauty – because they nourish the soul
6. To avoid criticism – which nobody wants
7. To make their work easier – a constant need to many people
8. To speed up their work – because people know that time is precious
9. To keep up with the Joneses – there are Joneses in everybody‘s lives
10. To feel opulent – a rare, but valid reason to make a purchase
11. To look younger – due to the reverence placed upon youthfulness
12. To become more efficient – because efficiency saves time
13. To buy friendship – I didn‘t know it‘s for sale, but it often is
14. To avoid effort – because nobody loves to work too hard
15. To escape or avoid pain – which is an easy path to making a sale
16. To protect their possessions – because they worked hard to get them
17. To be in style – because few people enjoy being out of style
18. To avoid trouble – because trouble is never a joy
19. To access opportunities – because they open the doors to good things
20. To express love – one of the noblest reasons to make any purchase
21. To be entertained – because entertainment is usually fun
22. To be organized – because order makes lives simpler
23. To feel safe – because security is a basic human need
24. To conserve energy – their own or their planet‘s sources of energy
25. To be accepted – because that means security as well as love
26. To save time — because they know time is more valuable than money
27. To become more fit and healthy — seems to me that‘s an easy sale
28. To attract the opposite sex – never undermine the power of love
29. To protect their family – tapping into another basic human need
30. To emulate others – because the world is teeming with role models
31. To protect their reputation – because they worked hard to build it
32. To feel superior – which is why status symbols are sought after
33. To be trendy – because they know their friends will notice
34. To be excited – because people need excitement in a humdrum life
35. To communicate better — because they want to be understood
36. To preserve the environment – giving rise to cause-related marketing
37. To satisfy an impulse – a basic reason behind a multitude of purchases
38. To save money – the most important reason to 14% of the population
39. To be cleaner – because unclean often goes with unhealthy and unloved
40. To be popular – because inclusion beats exclusion every time
41. To gratify curiosity — it killed the cat but motivates the sale
42. To satisfy their appetite – because hunger is not a good thing
43. To be individual – because all of us are, and some of us need assurance
44. To escape stress – need I explain?
45. To gain convenience – because simplicity makes life easier
46. To be informed – because it‘s no joy to be perceived as ignorant
47. To give to others – another way you can nourish your soul
48. To feel younger – because that equates with vitality and energy
49. To pursue a hobby – because all work and no play etc. etc. etc.
50. To leave a legacy – because that‘s a way to live forever

Feel free to add!
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