It can be generally said that all people buy to satisfy some goal or need. Human needs are many and varied, ranging from the basic physical needs of Shelter, food and safety essential for survival, through the need to satisfy personal vanity, to intellectual and spiritual satisfaction.
It is said that money can not buy you love – sometimes it can not, but florists, card shops and jewelers can make a good profit out of helping it along the way. Retailers of cosmetics sell dreams of beauty, sophistication and youth – satisfying our egos.
People buy clothes to keep warm, but more are sold because people wish to project a variety of images – they need to belong and socialize. In each case the consumer is motivated by the benefits that can derive from the purchase and less by the pure physical attributes of the merchandise. They do not buy products: they seek to acquire benefits.
It is certainly difficult to identify why people make certain purchases. Thorough studying of the needs of your customers would surely help your understanding, but how practical would such an exercise be? It is easier and more practical to attempt to identify the benefits that customers seek in satisfying a need or collection of needs, rather than the needs themselves.
To start you off on this process, start to identify the benefits you bought when making purchases. The first thing you will probably find is that the decision to buy was not affected solely by benefits attached to the product itself, but equally or even more so by other benefits derived, for example, from the price, the image, location, reputation of The shop, the existence of additional services and so on.
The reality is successful businesses integrate their products' benefits into a more comprehensive benefits package. They attempt to build an image that differentiates them in a positive way from the competition. If they are successful, then customer will always identify the business first before going on to make decisions apprehensaining to the products or brand.
It is not that the product is ignored, but rather that the benefits which are associated with it become inseparable from the overall business image.
The implications for you are clear. While highlighting the benefits attached to the product you sell, you must try to focus the customer's mind ahead on the benefits of buying from you.