Are You Showing the Love?

buying with emotions
“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” - Zig Ziglar

Every weekend for the past few weeks, my boyfriend and I have found ourselves at the same cafe around the corner from our New York apartment for coffee and a sandwich. 

We’ve become “regulars”.

It’s a little family-run spot. The food is good enough; the ambiance is ok; they’ve messed our order up more than once. While their cold brew is on point, that doesn’t exactly add up to the repeat-customer trifecta.

The city is littered with coffee shops and bodegas, which is a good thing for my coffee habit, but it means we aren’t starved for choice. 

Yet, this past weekend, there we were again. Same place. Same order.

What keeps us coming back week after week? There are a bevy of spots a stone’s throw from our apartment, so it isn’t the location. We like exploring and trying new spots, so it isn’t out of habit or routine.

Walking home with yet another half-correct food order (sorry guys, it always has been, and it always will be whole wheat ciabatta), I started thinking about what makes us happy to hand our credit card over in one situation and turn away in another.

The ex-server in me wants to attribute this all to customer service, but it goes a little deeper than that. There are plenty of places with “good” service in the city that I don’t frequent. 

In this case, it’s not as much the service, as it is the way they make us feel like family every time we walk in the door. We both feel a sense of community. We feel welcome. We feel like we’re supporting people we’ve come to know and like.

We’re all emotional creatures. We may like to think we’re rational and made of steel (especially when it comes to our purchasing habits), but the truth is we buy things because of how they make us feel.

Don’t take my word for it. There’s a ton of non-emotional science and research that shows positive emotion toward a brand has a higher influence over our loyalty than trust and other factors. Neuro-imagery has actually shown that we use emotions instead of information when we assess brands. 

We go back to the bar around the corner time and time again, even though there are plenty of other choices because we feel welcome there. We buy a particular brand of lipstick because it makes us feel luxurious and pampered. We buy (or don’t buy) unicorn-themed lattes from a particular coffee shop because it makes us feel on trend, savvy, or cool.

In our fast-paced, instant, and automated world, feeling positive emotions can trigger us to want to buy.

Take a look at the last few non-essentials you purchased. Chances are there’s an emotional response linked to them.

Think about the last time you decided not to go back to a particular restaurant. Chances are it has something to do with how the staff or venue made you feel.      

Of course, there are many, many factors that go into why we do or don’t buy something. But our emotions definitely rank up there.

What does this mean for us?

In the day-to-day hustle, as we sit behind the screens that separate us all, it can be easy to forget our customers and clients are real people. People who want to be heard, seen, and understood. It’s our responsibility to foster, grow, and develop their positive emotions as they relate to our work.

While customer service is an awesome and logical place to start, it isn’t the only area where we can elicit emotions and create more authentic connections.

Every aspect of our work, from our email sign-offs to our product packaging, is an opportunity to create an experience and the desired emotion from our customers and clients. 

How do you want your customers and clients to feel? 

Do your products and services deliver on this emotional response? How about all the touch points you have with your people?

This week, I invite you to take a step back and inventory all the spokes of your business wheel and look at them through fresh eyes. Are they evoking the feelings you want? 

If not, put this insight into action, and brainstorm some ways to crank the emotional response and connection up a notch.

From sprinkling more personality and intentional details into your work, to sending loyal customers an old school thank-you card, to tweaking your website copy to evoke more emotion, you’ll be creating your very own “regulars” in no time.

Bonus points for showing the love and getting the order right!

Wishing you your version of success,

emotional buying

P.S. Can you think of any recent purchased that were triggered by emotion? Let me know in the comments below!

P.P.S. Know someone else who might like this blog? I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it!