What Drives (Purchase) Desire: How to Capture Your Customer's Heart

Today is the holiday of love and romance, but I’m not necessarily writing about roses and chocolate. Rather, I’m exploring a different aspect of this celebration: desire -- purchase desire, to be more specific. What truly motivates us to make purchases from the brands we love?

And while I won’t get into the intricacies of what makes people attracted to each other, understanding the driving forces behind consumer desire is just as important -- and, may I say, just as complex -- for those of us in the field of understanding consumer behavior.

How do we effectively ignite that strong desire for a product or service?

Understand your audience in depth and determine what makes them tick. Look into the psyche of your target market. What are their aspirations, their struggles, their dreams? Imagine their ideal life.

Every detail matters. It’s all about letting your customers drive your strategies with deeper, more meaningful insights. Are they seeking solutions to save time and energy? Or maybe they’re an artist seeking tools to express their individuality? Understanding their specific desires becomes the map to their hearts.



Close the ambition gap. Can your product contribute to the realization of customers’ ideal reality? Be it efficiency, self-expression, or social status, identify how your offering aligns with their aspirations. Keep in mind that your offering is not just a product; it’s a useful solution if you can articulate and meet these needs. Beyond explicit statements, subtle cues in messaging and visuals can also go a long way toward articulating the value proposition of your business.

Craft the right message. Seduction with substance is an art form that involves striking a balance between simple connection and intriguing appeal. Doing so requires effective imagination. You need to be clear while leaving room for curiosity. Avoid generic language and overused marketing buzzwords. Instead, tap into their emotional triggers and use humor, storytelling, and authentic testimonials as tools in this delicate dance.

Use the right channels. You need to be where your customers are, but also understand why they are there. Don’t just scatter your message across every platform. Research how your audience uses each channel, from their habits to the main reason they’re using it. Are they active on Instagram, seeking for ways to connect with others or to find inspiration? Social listening tools and well-designed quantitative studies can unearth hidden gems of insight. You also need to remember that it's not just about presence; it's about effective engagement tailored to that particular channel.

Dare. Standing out is key. Don’t shy away from bold approaches. Remember, you’re looking for attention, not disappearing into the background. This doesn’t mean eccentric tricks; it means taking calculated risks that capture the essence of your brand and resonate with your audience. Your marketing should possess an element of surprise and ideally be intriguing.

Think of this as a five-point formula for driving desire, but remember, marketing is not an exact science. True skill is found in the art of interpretation and knowing how to apply these principles according to each scenario.


So, as Valentine’s Day passes and the everyday returns, keep this in mind: Understanding and fulfilling your customer’s desires is the ultimate strategy, one that goes beyond a transitory holiday and results in long-term loyalty and growth for your brand.

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