B2B International
B2B International

February 29, 2008

Following on from last week’s inaugural post in a new series entitled "Thursday Night Insight", this week B2B Director Carol Ann Morgan investigates the personal and emotional pressures that are increasingly impacting upon our buying decisions.

I have recently changed my car, and in choosing my car, I did feel morally pressured to allow environmental issues to give way to some of my personal emotional attachments to aesthetics, speed and brand. The car I end up with might not be quite as pleasing to me, had I considered only my personal needs, but I am expectant of a “feel goodâ€? factor, in making the “rightâ€? choice.

Being a market researcher, I am constantly sussing out the people I interact with in my personal and business life to develop my understanding and feed my curiosity about what drives a buyer to choose one product or one brand over another.

Most business models explaining buyer behaviour boil down to three key considerations in this decision:

  • Cultural needs of the organisation or the community we belong to (Corporate needs)
  • Requirements of the product or service (functional needs)
  • The emotional needs of the individual making the decision (personal needs)

Many of the research projects I have worked on over recent years have served to remind me of the strength external pressures in driving a shift in the weight of importance of these three groups of needs when it comes to supplier and product choices. Increasingly strong political pressures, in the form of policies, legislation and directives, are now impacting quite considerably on business and consumer buying decisions, and this influence seems to be growing.

Business purchasing decision makers appear to be coming under similar pressure, notably in relation to green issues, health and safety and social responsibility. Wily suppliers of the future might be those whose sales and marketing approaches take time to understand corporate needs and pressures. However, personal and emotional needs of the buyer fronting the decision need also to be addressed; after all, it is likely to be (s)he who is looking for the “feel goodâ€? factor too.