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What makes customers buy (and how to get them to buy from you)?

What makes customers buy | Guide my Growth

“What makes customers buy (and how do I make them buy my products or services)?”

I think this might be the #1 question that every business owner has.

Having a business is great. Being creative and innovative in your business is wonderful. Adding new products or services is fantastic.

But unless people buy from you, none of that matters.

That is why it is critical to have a deep understanding of what makes customers loyal to a brand and what makes them happy. In other words, you should know why your customers are buying and why they are buying from you.

This will help you understand what sets you apart from your competitors. It will also help you design a highly targeted and highly effective marketing strategy to attract new customers.

More importantly, understanding your customers – knowing what makes customers buy products – will help you retain them because you know what they are looking for and you can fulfill that need. You will understand why they make the choices that they do.

As time goes on, this will also lead to higher sales. This is because you will know how to make customers buy your product. With this knowledge, you can add or develop products and services that build on what your customers are looking for.

So how can you make customers buy more? To be able to analyse your customers, it is first important to first understand what buying is.

Customers buy because they are looking for something to take away their pain or increase their happiness.

When customers buy a product or service, they expect to achieve a change in their lives. And they want that change to be positive. In other words, this product or service is what makes customers happy.

So, the key questions for any business are:

  • How do your products help improve someone’s life?
  • And how do you do that better than the competition?

To answer these questions, do your own analysis. Also, ask your customers.

You can ask any customer you want, but if you are truly interested in increasing your profits and growing your business, make sure to focus on your most profitable customers.

When you can answer these two questions, you will know what need your product or service fulfills. It is one of the key aspects of what makes customers loyal to a band. And knowing what makes customers buy your product or service then gives you input to design the most effective marketing strategies that make customers buy more.

These 7 pleasure or pain points make customers buy products

Generally speaking, there are 7 key pleasure or pain points that make customers buy.

This is based on the theory of the hierarchy of needs that was developed by Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist. His theory states that people must first satisfy the needs at the lower levels before they can advance to the higher levels.

Hierarchy Of Needs Pyramid Maslow | Guide My Growth
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

If we look at these fundamental human needs, we start getting a better understanding of why people buy.

1. Customers buy products or services because they need them to survive

At the basic level of our existence, we need oxygen, food, water, shelter, sleep, and clothing. These are our necessities.

How about the customers that buy from you? Are they looking for things that will fulfill their most basic needs? Depending on what kind of customers buy from you – or your most profitable customers – also take a look at what you are selling. Do your products or services match the needs of your target customers?

2. Customers buy because they want to feel safe or protected

After fulfilling their most basic needs, customers will start buying products that offer protection or that provide security.  These are products that will either help them avoid future pain or provide protection against uncertainty.

Examples of these products are all types of insurance, but also education and training that helps people gain employment. People do not know what the future will bring, but they can take action to protect themselves from it. Or, to put themselves in a position to benefit from it.

If the products or services that you are selling are in this category, knowing why people buy these kinds of products can help you put together a more effective marketing strategy.

3. Customers buy because they want to feel that they belong to a certain group

We all want to feel that we are loved and that we belong.

When people start buying products in this needs category, they are looking for ways to show that they belong to a certain group of people. This could be a group that they already belong to or a group that they want to be a part of.

For businesses, analysing your customers helps you to determine if there are groups that share similar characteristics. For example, mothers buy different products than women without children and young people are often interested in different services than elderly people.

Use your customer insights in your marketing and promotion to encourage particular groups of people to buy (more) from you.

4. Customers buy because they want to project a certain image

A highly-educated woman may want to show that she is successful by wearing a particular brand of clothing or by driving a certain type of car. A man who is very focused on his physical appearance may go to the gym 5 days a week and participate in bodybuilding challenges.

Both of these customers will buy different items to showcase what is important to them.

How do your products help customers achieve this?

Encourage customers to buy from you by focusing your marketing on how your product (or service) will help customers project the image that they want others to see.

5. Customers buy because they want to become the most that they can be

At the highest levels of the hierarchy of needs, you will find the need for self-actualisation: the desire to develop yourself to the best of your abilities and to become the most that you can be.

This desire is closely linked to what is today called the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

There is a large group of people, especially young people born between 1981 and 1996, who feel a strong need to buy the same things that other people have bought. They hope to get the same benefits, rewards, and prestige that other buyers have experienced by buying these things. Not following the crowd makes them feel like they are missing out. This fear motivates them to buy, often without even considering whether they actually need these things.

As a business owner, selling self-actualisation requires you to deeply understand your customer: what is he or she hoping to achieve? What is it that he or she dreams of becoming?

Selling to younger people – millennials – using FOMO is easier. Research shows that when young people feel FOMO, 60% of them will make a purchase within the next 24 hours to get rid of that feeling. For businesses selling to millennials, this is a gold mine.

In addition to these basic needs, people also make purchases based on other considerations.

6. Customers buy because what you are selling makes their life convenient

If you can save people time, effort or money, your product or service becomes valuable to them. This includes things like delivery services, product bundles, subscriptions, and even the ability to buy on credit or pay in installments.

For your marketing, the key question is: What can you do to make things more convenient for your customers?

7. Customers buy because you make them the best offer

The best offer could mean that you offer the cheapest price compared to your competitors. It can also mean that you offer the most value for the price that you are charging.

In this case, your marketing needs to take account of the factors that determine whether or not a customer will buy. These factors include price, quality, color, size, weight, discounts, warranties, and service.

Knowing which one to focus on in your marketing will depend on whether you understand your customer and know what they are looking for.

8. Customers buy because it makes them feel happy

Sometimes, customers buy for the simple reason that buying that product or service makes them happy. This applies to all kinds of customers, all across the world.

We all want to feel happy.

Customers respond positively to businesses that make them feel happy.

If your products or services make people happy, your marketing will need to tap into this feeling. You will need to find ways to make people feel happy when they see your brand or your products, and then encourage them to keep feeling happy by buying from you.


It makes good business sense for every business owner to study their business to understand what makes customers buy. It also makes good business sense to analyse what your competitors are doing in their marketing.

Once you have that information, you will have a better understanding of how to market what you sell and how to make customers buy more. In addition, this understading of what makes customers loyal to a brand helps you to retain more customers.

Always remember: you are not selling a product or service. You are selling solution to a certain problem or a way to increase pleasure in your customer’s life. The solution that you offer is what makes customers happy.

Note: In your marketing, make sure to target the specific kind of customer that will bring the highest profits to your business.

Now go forth to make customers buy your product or service!

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