How To Get Customers To Buy With Emotional Triggers
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What Emotions Trigger Customers To Buy


Love. Hate. Fear. Jealousy. Trust. Competition. In many ways, emotions are what make the world go round. Emotions are why we do what we do—especially why we do what we do when we’re acting impulsively.  When it comes to marketing products—especially products that are more wants than needs on the consumer spectrum—tapping into these emotions is the key to influencing buying decisions. But which of those emotions is the key to the sales dilemma: how to get customers to buy?

Your customer is looking for a product that solves a problem. The problem they are faced with is causing them to feel an emotion, and they are seeking a solution in response to that emotion. Marketers can use this psychological truth, in a way, to manipulate buyers’ emotions in favor of their product.

Here are a few of the most common emotions that brands use in marketing to trigger the impulse to buy:


Trust is the most powerful emotion when it comes to how to get a customer to buy. Creating an emotional connection founded on a sense of trust is particularly essential in the marketing of securities and finance products. Communicating trust is why “Nationwide is on your side,” and why banks advertise “no hidden fees.”

Especially when a product is intangible or something the consumer doesn’t entirely understand, it’s even more important for brands to communicate that they can be trusted to take care of the details.


Feeling vulnerable or uncertain creates a powerful buying impulse with consumers. To engage this emotional connection, marketers tap into a fear that consumers are likely to experience, and then offer a solution against the perceived threat. 

Think of Allstate Insurance’s “mayhem” guy. In a comical way, he reminds you of all the terrible things that could happen to your vehicle or property. In other words, he creates a perceived threat.

In reality, it’s very unlikely that a tree or an air conditioning unit is going to fall on top of your car. But the Allstate campaign creates that fear in order to trigger your buying impulse, then offers you the solution of purchasing Allstate insurance—to “protect yourself from mayhem.”


Assuaging guilt is a huge reason that people make brand decisions. We’re all trying to be the best parent/spouse/friend/athlete/employee/fill-in-the-blank that we can. Brands can influence our buying decisions by convincing us that if only we bought Product X, we would be a better…whatever we are. Our guilt compels us to make the “right” decision.

 JIF peanut butter’s longtime slogan, “Choosy Moms Choose JIF” is a great example here. Moms who last chose a different brand at the grocery store stop and think—but, I’m a good Mom! Aren’t I a good Mom? Why did I choose that other brand? And on the next trip to the store, that Mom’s inner guilt may drive her to choose JIF, to prove to herself that she’s a “choosy Mom” too. The key thing here is to pick a positive identity or sentiment that other people want to be! In this example “choosey” is positive, while “picky” is more negative.


Sense of Belonging

One of the simplest answers to the question of how to get customers to buy is to create a community (or dare we say- cult!). Ultimately, consumers just want to feel that they are a part of the group. Creating the sense that buying this product will include the consumer in a community of other buyers is a powerful emotional trigger. 

Think of Apple, for example. Mac users are a community. They identify themselves with their chosen brand, and Apple’s brilliant marketing strategy over the last 10 years creates natural brand ambassadors who emphatically share that brand with others. Wanting to belong to the elite community of Mac users is a powerful emotional trigger that causes users to purchase Apple product, regardless of whether the product itself is or is not best suited to their needs.


What emotions connect buyers with your product? What will they be missing out on if they forego what you have to offer and choose a different brand? Communicate that, and you’ll trigger your customer’s impulse to buy.

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One Response to What Emotions Trigger Customers To Buy

  1. Sleepy Boy says:

    Nice article. Do you have any sources available for your statements on “Trust” ?

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