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Why we buy Coca-Cola

In business we do have a habit on focusing on small (though often important) aspects of the big picture. Profit, closing the sale and advertising are talked about in their intricacies. Which sometimes makes it difficult to widen your vision and see the whole image.

Lots of people talk about the psychology of marketing and advertising; the words to use, the types of images, colours etc. But it’s not just about what you’re telling your customers on your website and in your marketing. It’s also important to tick as many of their buying criteria as possible.

Think about this yourself. When buying a soft drink, what makes you chose your favourite brand? And what would make you try something new?

Now think about the last thing you bought that was equivalent to a week or a month’s wages. May be it was a holiday, may be it was a new gadget or computer. What made you buy from the company you chose?

There are lots of reasons why people chose to buy and not all of them are logical ones. In fact, some of the points below have very little to do with just how good your product or service is.

« Urgency

« Good word of mouth / reviews

« Background information about the company and/or product

« Relevant ads / branding / familiarity

« Quality of website

« Justifiability (especially to spouse etc)

« Number of shops and how they look

« Guarantees

« Free trials / introductory offers

« Connection to company and product

« Perception of value

« Perception of increased status

« Delivery options / convenience

« Quality of service

« Quality of product

« Packaging / promotional materials

« Perceived social responsibility and community interaction

« Ease of access via phone, internet, email and face to face

The higher the value of your product or service, the higher you need to score in each of these criteria. For instance, you don’t really expect a guarantee when buying that soft drink. However, you will expect a guarantee and a warrantee for anything that is a perceived significant cost.

So time to think about your product and get your customers to give you feedback.

Score yourself between one and five on each area. If you don’t think it’s relevant, just give yourself one point. Then ask yourself if your competitors have made it relevant? Lots of big chains now do a money back guarantee on the smallest item. How are you fighting back?

Then ask some impartial people. Customers will often give you totally honest feedback if it’s completely anonymous (we all like to be nice after all).

Find out more about getting customer feedback.