Relief from Pain: Why People Buy

Posted: September 23, 2009 in 1

One of the great direct marketing copywriters of all time, Victor O. Schwab (who wrote the famous body-builder Charles Atlas ads and went on to help create the giant Book-of-the-Month Club) penned a list of what he called “pain points,” spelling out the reasons why people buy what they don’t necessarily need but feel they want. People purchase memberships, products and services because it eases some pain they have about themselves.
They want to:
save work, money, and time
avoid discomfort, risks, worry, embarrassment, and doubts
express their personalities
satisfy their curiosities
appreciate beauty
win others’ affections
resist domination by others
emulate the admirable
acquire or collect things
generally improve themselves

They want to be:
good parents
creative
efficient
recognized authorities
up-to-date
gregarious
leaders
sociable
hospitable
proud of their possessions
influential over others

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