An in-depth look at why people buy what they buy.
At the most basic level, it’s important to understand that most people buy for one of two reason — they buy to move closer to pleasure or to move further away from pain.
.. People don’t buy a cherry red Maserati because it’s the logical thing to do — they buy it because it’s makes them feel something.
The same can be said for a $10,000 speaker system or a $500 pair of Denim Jeans or a $300 plate of caviar or a $1,000/night stay at a luxurious resort.
These decisions aren’t logical, they’re emotionally driven.
.. So, when selling a product that is pleasurable to your customer, be sure to consider triggering their emotions. Make them feel something.
.. People justify their purchases with logic.
In the previous section we discussed that when people make purchases to move them closer to pleasure they will make their buying decisions based off emotion.
.. When Mark goes out and makes the emotionally charged decision of spending $60,000 on a brand new Maserati, sooner or later he will have to answer the question, “Mark, why the hell did you spend a small fortune on a cherry red Maserati?”
This is where the concept of logic enters into the picture. Generally speaking, while people make emotional buying decisions, they will justify their purchases with logic.
.. People buy because other people buy.
.. There is a reason products “trend” on Amazon, they become increasingly popular as more people use them, wear them and show them off.
.. what’s very interesting about this concept of trust is that 84% of online shoppers are now trusting product reviews as much as recommendations from their actual friends.
.. As a marketer, be very aware of what your customer’s are saying both online and offline about your product or service. Not to mention, create products or services that are easily-shareable to strengthen their chances of going viral.
.. Ask your customers how they feel when they use your product. Pay extra close attention to the words and emotions they describe. Recycle their words and feelings and enhance them in your marketing messaging.
.. You need to find out the logic behind buying whatever you’re selling. I would start by asking your customers the following question — our product is kind of expensive, why did you spend your hard earned money on it? Their answer(s) will be heavily factual. They won’t say “because I love it and it makes me feel good”. They’ll be more likely to say something like “because it had features A, B and C and because it solved this specific problem.” Yes, this question will be a bit abrasive, but it is important. It puts the customer in the hot seat much in the same way if they were asked by a friend or family member. Once you’ve established the logical reasons for buying your product or service, this should also be included in your marketing messaging.
But Granovetter thought it was a mistake to focus on the decision-making processes of each rioter in isolation. In his view, a riot was not a collection of individuals, each of whom arrived independently at the decision to break windows. A riot was a social process, in which people did things in reaction to and in combination with those around them. Social processes are driven by our thresholds—which he defined as the number of people who need to be doing some activity before we agree to join them.
.. riots were started by people with a threshold of zero—instigators willing to throw a rock through a window at the slightest provocation. Then comes the person who will throw a rock if someone else goes first. He has a threshold of one. Next in is the person with the threshold of two.
.. Next to him is someone with a threshold of three, who would never break windows and loot stores unless there were three people right in front of him who were already doing that—and so on up to the hundredth person, a righteous upstanding citizen who nonetheless could set his beliefs aside and grab a camera from the broken window of the electronics store if everyonearound him was grabbing cameras from the electronics store.
Granovetter was most taken by the situations in which people did things for social reasons that went against everything they believed as individuals. “Most did not think it ‘right’ to commit illegal acts or even particularly want to do so,” he wrote, about the findings of a study of delinquent boys. “But group interaction was such that none could admit this without loss of status; in our terms, their threshold for stealing cars is low because daring masculine acts bring status, and reluctance to join, once others have, carries the high cost of being labeled a sissy.” You can’t just look at an individual’s norms and motives. You need to look at the group.
.. the way to explain the school-shooting epidemic
.. think of it as a slow-motion, ever-evolving riot, in which each new participant’s action makes sense in reaction to and in combination with those who came before?
.. Then came Columbine. The sociologist Ralph Larkin argues that Harris and Klebold laid down the “cultural script” for the next generation of shooters.
.. Harris said he wanted to “kick-start a revolution.”
.. Larkin looked at the twelve major school shootings in the United States in the eight years after Columbine, and he found that in eight of those subsequent cases the shooters made explicit reference to Harris and Klebold.
.. Larkin says six were plainly versions of Columbine; of the eleven cases of thwarted shootings in the same period, Larkin says all were Columbine-inspired.
.. The kid who wants to be a chef and hears “non-specific, non-violent” voices requires a finely elaborated script in order to carry out his attack. That’s what Paton and Larkin mean: the effect of Harris and Klebold’s example was to make it possible for people with far higher thresholds—boys who would ordinarily never think of firing a weapon at their classmates—to join in the riot.
- Aguilar dressed up like Eric Harris.
- He used the same weapons as Harris.
- He wore a backpack like Harris’s.
- He hid in the changing room of the store until 11:14 a.m.—the precise time when the Columbine incident began—and then came out shooting.
.. Between Columbine and Aaron Ybarra, the riot changed: it became more and more self-referential, more ritualized, more and more about identification with the school-shooting tradition.
- Eric Harris wanted to start a revolution.
- Aguilar and Ybarra wanted to join one.
- Harris saw himself as a hero. Aguilar and Ybarra were hero-worshippers.
.. “My number one idol is Eric Harris. . . . I think I just see myself in him. Like he would be the kind of guy I’d want to be with. Like, if I knew him, I just thought he was cool.”
..“He appears to lack typical relational capacity for family members. . . .He indicates that he would have completed the actions, but he doesn’t demonstrate any concern or empathy for the impact that that could have had on others.” The conclusion of all three of the psychologists who spoke at the hearing was that LaDue had a mild-to-moderate case of autism: he had an autism-spectrum disorder (A.S.D.), or what used to be called Asperger’s syndrome.
.. When should he attack? April made the best sense, “because that’s the month that all the really bad tragedies happened like . . . Titanic, Columbine, Oklahoma City bombing, Boston bombing.”
.. He was even more scathing about the Boston bombers’ use of pressure-cooker bombs. He thought they made a “crappy design of it.”
.. In the world before Columbine, people like LaDue played with chemistry sets in their basements and dreamed of being astronauts.
.. The idea that people with autism-spectrum disorders can stumble into patterns of serious criminality has a name: counterfeit deviance. It has long been an issue in cases involving A.S.D. teen-agers and child pornography. “They are intellectually intact people, with good computer skills but extraordinary brain-based naïveté, acting in social isolation, compulsively pursuing interests which often unknowingly take them into forbidden territory,”
.. But the riot has now engulfed the boys who were once content to play with chemistry sets in the basement. The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.
The sex education programs in my mostly liberal schools featured a touching faith from the adults in charge that they were engaged in a great work of enlightenment, that with the right curricula they could roll back the forces of repression and make sexuality a place of egalitarian pleasure and safety for us all.
Compared to those idealists, the people teaching “porn literacy” have accepted a sweeping pedagogical defeat. They take for granted that the most important sex education may take place on Pornhub, that the purpose of their work is essentially remedial, and that there is no escape from the world that porn has made.
.. And such a reassessment will be incomplete if it never reconsiders our surrender to the idea that many teenagers, most young men especially, will get their sex education from online smut.
.. This surrender was not inevitable. It was only a generation ago that the unlikely (or was it?) alliance of feminists and religious conservatives made the regulation of pornography a live political debate. But between the individualistic drift of society, the invention of the internet, and the failure of the Dworkin-Falwell alliance’s predictions that porn would lead to rising rates of rape, the anti-porn case was marginalized — with religious conservatism’s surrender to Donald Trump’s playboy candidacy a seeming coup de grace.
.. Trump’s grotesqueries have stirred up a feminist reaction that’s more moralistic and less gamely sex-positive than the Clinton-justifying variety, and there’s no necessary reason why its moralistic gaze can’t extend to our porn addiction
.. I think the part of the #MeToo movement that’s interested in discussing sexual unhappiness and not just sexual harassment clearly wants to talk about pornography, even if it doesn’t quite realize that yet.
.. the controversial first-person account of being not-raped by Aziz Ansari (jointly described by one Twitter jester as an “ethnography of the degree to which millennial sex is a joyless mimetic spamming of half-remembered porn tropes”)
.. you see a kind of female revulsion, not against Harvey Weinstein-style apex predators, but against the very different sort of male personality that a pornographic education seems to produce: a breed at once entitled and resentful, angry and undermotivated, “woke” and caddish, shaped by unprecedented possibilities for sexual gratification and frustrated that real women are less available and more complicated than the version on their screen.
.. So if you want better men by any standard, there is every reason to regard ubiquitous pornography as an obstacle
.. and while you can find anything somewhere on the internet, making hard-core porn something to be quested after in dark corners would dramatically reduce its pedagogical role, its cultural normalcy, its power over libidos everywhere.