This Shirt, and Why She Bought It

My colleague and I were next to a woman who was wearing a sweater with the word “New Hampshire” on it as we waited to board an aircraft to Austin, Texas, for my first visit to a Google Campus. I commented, “I grew up there; I love the shirt,” being from New Hampshire, to which she politely replied, “Yeah, I just got it.”


She ended up being seated in the third seat in our row after we were on the aircraft. “So you’re from New Hampshire?” she repeated as she carried on our talk. I responded, “Yes, I am, born and raised.” She recounted to me the tale of her journey to the White Mountains and how stunning she thought they were. She is a retired school administrator and travels quite a bit these days. She was traveling to Austin to attend a science and technology conference and reunite with some old coworkers.


How does this relate to marketing, then? I’m taking a four-hour trip to Google to learn more about the platform and how I can assist companies in selling more of their merchandise in a successful, economical manner, and I can’t help but wonder why she purchased the shirt.


She enjoyed it, to put it simply. But as a marketer who spends a lot of time figuring out how to get people to react, do something, and ideally spend some of their hard-earned money. I was unable to stop there. I arrived at the same conclusion I always do: it was because of how it made her feel.


Does that souvenir shirt, therefore, remind her of that vacation, the times she spent with her loved ones and the beauty she doesn’t get to witness every day where she lives? Why was it on her today? Did the fact that she was going to Austin make her feel, however subtly, like a globetrotter or make her want to tell her friends that she had recently visited New Hampshire?


Let’s get started since it’s likely that if you’re reading this, you sell a product that is worth more than that $29.95 shirt. Assuming you sell new or used automobiles, as do the majority of our clients, how much consideration do you give to the feelings of a customer before, during, and after the process? Many companies adopt the attitude that “we sell, X. I put a lot of money into marketing X, which is a good product. Because X is an excellent product and I am here to market it, people should buy it. Meet “entitlement,” the opponent of developing a brand, ladies, and gentlemen.


Every brand in the world leaves you with a particular impression. Think about this situation for me:


A successful man experiences a special feeling when wearing a Rolex. It conveys information about him. After all, there are other modern methods for telling the time apart from donning a $16,000 watch. Consider a few years from now, when he will have a few grandchildren and more money, and you will feel that the Rolex is no longer in good condition. He notices the guys wearing their hard-earned awards at every conference he attends, which come in a variety of designs and hues. As he takes off for his flight home, he comes across a Patek Philippe advertisement with the tagline, “You never really own a Patek Philippe, you simply take care of it for the next generation.” To change his mood, he takes out his phone and begins to look into new watches.


The same man enters Nordstrom’s with his wife to purchase a few items. She goes to the shoe section as he goes to get a suit for work. He has a smirk on his face and is out $2,200 an hour later as they pack the trunk and return home. For those two stacks, he could have purchased six quite fine clothes and seven pairs of shoes for his wife at Macy’s, but instead, his suitcase has two suits and one pair of shoes. After all, a Ted Baker suit will improve any man’s self-confidence. And as for his wife, she’s never worn a pair of shoes before that had the same effect on her as the Valentinos in the trunk. She can’t wait to wear them to a wedding on Saturday because she knows that once she puts on the most stunning shoes she has ever seen, she will instantly feel better.


We connect with brands. They pull at our hearts. You feel like a millionaire right now because of how the concierge treats you after making a purchase like that. It is satisfying. When the $2,200 leaves his hands, it feels regular and like an equitable trade, which serves to validate their labor. Life is good when you have two suits, a pair of shoes, and world-class service. He wouldn’t have experienced it at Macy’s.


People purchase a wide variety of goods to achieve their desired emotions. Want to experience outdoor man badassness? Visit Patagonia or L.L. Bean right away. Want to be thrifty and save? Feel like you’ve beaten the system when you shop on a sale day. You want to feel faster. Pay whatever the price is to have the newest running shoe. Think about it: you purchase everything you own, even down to your shampoo and deodorant, because it gives you a certain feeling. You may not even be aware of this.


Therefore, why, oh why, do so many companies have websites that confound customers, are challenging to use, lack a value equation, and leave them feeling empty? Consumer behavior is evolving quickly; we demand quick, simple, informative services and products that we can relate to. We want the purchase to be simple and to arrive within 36 hours. We also want to feel knowledgeable about the purchase and secure in the knowledge that we did not overpay. Yes, companies like Amazon, Google, and others have taught us that it’s simple to obtain what we want when we want it.


I beg you, if you own or run a business and have a website, consider how it might affect a potential consumer. Know your target and aggressively develop your brand to connect with them, whether your product is a $29.95 New Hampshire shirt or the majority of the cars most of our clients sell, which range from under $5,000 to almost $1,000,000 in price. Make that connection with them; it will benefit both your business and their soul.


CarMax and Carvana are a few examples from our sector that are now winning the war, and car dealers all over the nation have made it simple for them to do so. Carvana and CarMax both advertise that “car-buying shouldn’t stink” and “car-buying is the way it should be.”


Yes, it shouldn’t stink, and I’m delighted I’m on a website buying from a firm that “does it the way it should be.” The sites are quick, easy to use, and I’m already sold. That home page’s loading gave me a specific impression. Because I’m going to buy a car and there are millions to choose from, I can spend my $27,500 wherever I want. Since the money is nearly spent and I’m in the market, why not use it at a place that doesn’t stink, operates properly, and makes me feel “good”?


Local businesses, including auto dealers, can compete with bigger, better-funded enterprises that prioritize the brand experience in this war. It actually isn’t that difficult; you simply need to pay attention to the experience as well.


Carvana is only successful in selling automobiles in dealers’ yards who have the same items and typically sell them for cheaper because, you guessed it, of how they make the consumer feel. Wow, that really didn’t stink—it was quick, it was simple, and they’d send it right to my home! No dealer in the nation can’t complete the same task as we do, but we can’t. We continue to use dated website layouts. Every call to action (CTA) on the website has a necessary area that must be filled in. This gives the customer the impression that we will call them constantly until they make a purchase from us or report us to the authorities for harassing them. Most of us in the car industry still operate in this manner. That is the impression we give to a client. We have a gap. We believe we are entitled to their business because we sell X and, by golly, I’m nearest to you; shouldn’t that be enough? It’s a cumbersome, slow procedure.


To make matters worse, we continue to spend more money on traditional media, SEO, Facebook, Google, and other methods to drive people to our websites. Then, despite the fact that we all know the website isn’t set up very effectively, we nevertheless expect it to work some sort of magic. We go back to the internet manager and the BDC because of our industry’s antiquated thinking to complain about the lack of leads and appointments for the day. However, we didn’t check the competitor’s website—the one that’s really kicking your ass—to see what they could be doing differently. That is what they are doing differently, Oh, there it is. But it won’t work here; that’s not for us. That is how the sales managers feel about the situation.


Oh, I did say it. There is usually someone in every store who will refuse to follow the rules and keep arguing that we shouldn’t make any changes since we simply need more customers. Breaking news: you have more traffic, and if you don’t, your approach is ineffective. On Saturday mornings, the traffic simply doesn’t walk up any longer, get the paper, and go on a five-store tour. They spend the entire Friday night browsing websites in the hopes that a dealer with the car they want has good images, and an informative website, and, waiting for it, it makes them FEEL like that is the place they should go to buy a car first thing in the morning. Note that I did not say to “look” at the cars. They carried it out. Perhaps they looked up the engine’s sound on YouTube. In fact, I felt as though I had driven the car before I even saw it when I did so for the previous automobile I purchased.


I now offer to you the areas in which you must concentrate your efforts in the upcoming months. Trust a partner who has knowledge of consumer behavior. Try out the updates to your website. It’s your first showroom now, according to someone I recently overheard. BOOM! Well said, and I concur. It is similar to teaching the receptionist the value of her tone, friendliness, and speed given that they are the caller’s initial point of contact and impression. Again, I have some news: it might still be the initial contact, but it might not. The customer most likely found you online, and chat may have been their initial point of contact. So lets all approach that first impression with the same aggression, intent, and attention as we did in 1989 when we were training our receptionist.

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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