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Every purchase decision


is emotionally-triggered!



     I am forever amazed at the ability of some retailers (and especially in this economy) to assume the luxury of pre-qualifying customers before they ever even set foot inside the store.  Have you noticed?  Or have you been asleep at the keyboard? 

     There’s a BJ’s opening nearby.  Kathy and I went to buy (“buy,” mind you) a “BJ’s Club Membership” card to be allowed to shop at this store that isn’t yet open!  For those even more in the dark than I’ve been (hard to imagine), this means you pay for the privilege to shop at this store.

     Like an idiot, I agreed to stay with Kathy and work through the 35-minute application process (when, alas, I could instead have been happily poking through the aisles of the next door hardware store), highlighted by having to have a photo I.D. in order to obtain a photo I.D.

     Now that makes alot of sense, right?  Isn’t that a lot like the bank being willing to give you a loan if you have enough in the bank to cover the loan?

     Yeah, but, the BJ’s fanatics tell me, you can get lots more stuff cheaper than other places, so it’s worth it to let them take out a second mortgage on your third child in order to be allowed to shop in their store (which, I might add, ain’t quite Tiffany’s!). 

     Well, excuse me, but wouldn’t you think any retailer would be thrilled these days just to have you drop by and do a little shopping?  What makes this join/enroll/enlist/sign up mindset so compelling that people feel they just “have to” buy into the program? 

     We are spending our money to buy products and contribute to –in this case– BJ’s profits, yes?  I mean it’s not like we’re qualifying for the Olympics, is it? 

     Aha!  It’s because we’re all suckers!  It’s because BJ’s, CostCo, Sam’s Club, et al suck us into “Club Memberships” knowing we can’t resist making a good solid emotional decision to join in the mutual exclusivity of others we like to believe we identify with in terms of lifestyle. 

     Huh?  Well, remember that no purchase (ZERO, NONE, NADA) is a rational, logical, unemotional decision.  It’s simply the way we justify ourselves.  But what about the economics of joing retail club membership rolls, and paying to be able to act and feel like we are getting exclusive purchase deals?  Well, maybe we are.  But so what? 

     Maybe we really don’t care about any of this, or maybe we can rationalize it all away.  What?  Oh, you don’t make emotional decisions?  HA!  Ask any good salesperson.  Every purchase decision is an emotionally-based, emotionally-triggered decision

     The rational, logical, unemotional stuff is what we use to justify our emotional choices, so we tell our friends about the product or service features, the great price, and how the car will do everything except make coffee, but the truth is we think we look good driving it, or we got totally hooked into the salesperson’s personality, or we have a need to “show off” our good taste . . . something emotional makes it happen! 

     What else?  I am now a card-carrying BJ’er.  YOW!     


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