What Makes People Buy?

why do people buy?

The psychology of the marketplace is simple. When you break down consumer purchasing motivation, we buy products for one of four reasons. So before you start building your product, take a moment to answer the question: what will motivate consumers to buy your product? Today I’m breaking down the four answers to the question “what makes people buy?” starting with the easiest to target.

What Makes People Buy? #1: Pain

We all go to undeniably great lengths to avoid discomfort, so products that remove pain are the easiest to sell. Consumers will want to know how fast and how effective your product will be at removing their pain, and if you deliver in a way no one else is, you’ll find success.

What Makes People Buy? #2: Problem

If an issue causes frustration rather than pain, then it’s a problem. And most of us are willing to pay good money to solve an annoying problem! Although second to pain, problem-solving is still a very effective marketing tool. Deliver a smart and easy solution to a specific problem, and your niche market will come to you.

What Makes People Buy? #3: Pleasure

On the flip side, we like to feel pleasure, and we prefer to feel that way as much as possible. But when finances are tight, we’re more likely to buy what we need rather than splurge on what we want. This makes pleasure the third easiest motivation to sell to. Even so, don’t underestimate how much consumers want to feel good. If your product provides pleasure effectively, you’ll always have buyers.

What Makes People Buy? #4: Prevention

Preventing problems before they happen is both wise and advisable, but the reality of human nature means prevention is the least sexy option for product creators. Although fear is a great motivator, we are more inclined to spend money once something is broken rather than beforehand. But don’t count prevention out just yet. We need all kinds of products, and if you tackle prevention, you can capture a niche.

Understanding what motivates your potential customers to buy is the start to creating an excellent product. Whether your customer wants to remove pain, solve a problem, feel pleasure or prevent a future issue, they want the issue solved easily and their desire satisfied. When you approach product design purposefully, with these motivations in mind, you have a better chance for success.


photo credit: Bigstock/kadmy



  1. […] buy products for one of four reasons. Before you begin creating your product, you need to know what solution your product will provide […]