Have you seen the new Ikea ad? I opened the double page spread in my newspaper at the weekend and thought – yes, that is the secret – the reason behind every buying decision we ever make.
The ad shows a single red table lamp. It has a shiny glass base and a blood-red shade. A white cat rubs her face against the material with a far away look of sublime pleasure. The strap line says;
Home. The most important thing is how it makes you feel.
At nearly 35 pounds this lamp is not the cheapest Ikea have ever produced, but the message is clear, it’s not about price this time, it’s about the way this purchase makes you feel on the inside. I don’t know if this is Ikea trying to educate its customers away from the expectation of very low prices but they are certainly tapping into the sensual nature of making a purchase.
The process of browsing, choosing, handling and buying goods involves all our senses. It’s not just the products themselves but the way they are displayed, the ambience in the shop,the rustle of paper as they’re wrapped. When you buy something super-expensive you don’t necessarily get a product which is 20x better than something cheaper, but you do get to feel what it’s like to be the kind of person who buys luxury goods – J-Lo for a day or for a few minutes anyway.
Creating an atmosphere that makes the customer feel good about a purchase is something everyone can do – you don’t need to have a shop or even a physical product. Website design and catalogue styling are all about tapping into your target customer’s aspirations and desires. It doesn’t have to be all about luxury, maybe your customer is motivated by value or gets excited by a bargain.
So for the take-away message from today’s post;
- Know your customer and what motivates them.
- Appeal to their senses – all of them, everywhere,all the time. (Think copywriting, design, colour choices, packaging.)
Who do you think does the sensual thing really well? I’ll kick off with Cath Kidston- her stuff makes me feel as though I’ve just baked a blackberry and apple crumble.