Knowing Why They Buy What They Buy!

By Ken Chee & Adam Wong

I was having a mentoring session with one of my Brand Mastery graduates, Joy. She owns a café. She told me, “Ken, I want to focus on something that has repeat purchase.” Joy identified that cake is a very good product for repeat purchase because there are anniversary, birthday and other happy occasions when people want to buy cakes. But there are a lot of competition.

One of the positioning techniques is category, positioning. I asked, “Do you want to be known only for chocolate cakes?” But there are 58 or 100 different kinds of chocolate cakes. Or, “Do you want to be known in the health category?” That is, all cakes are made without butter, eggs or sugar. Then consumers can have a piece of cake without feeling sinful. Through our network, I managed to tie Joy up with a “live” food specialist, who is able to produce a very tasty cake from raw ingredients, without baking or using flour, sugar and butter. We have not found anyone doing this in Singapore yet. So, we are going to launch this cake in Joy’s café. The specialist has offered four cake recipes to Joy.

Once you have discovered a mega problem in your industry, the next area you want to get into is consumer insight. You want to find out why consumers buy certain things.

Let’s say you found a mega problem in health e.g. colon cancer. You want to find out why some consumers buy health food or why some consumers go to slimming centres or gyms. You want to find out what makes them take action so that you can target your prospects in a more direct way.

You will be learning this process called the laddering process. This is a very powerful technique because you will find out why certain people do certain things and don’t realise it. But you will be able to find out the real reason.

This technique was designed by a psychologist called George Kelly who believed that we all carry around with us constructs about the way the world works. Our most important (core) constructs are very dear to us and we do not discuss them lightly. We are, however, willing to discuss those of our beliefs which we regard as low risk or disposable (peripheral) constructs. Kelly believed that these peripheral and core constructs are linked and that you can ladder between the two, by starting at the peripheral constructs and asking why those constructs are important.

The soul of business is essentially the essence of a mega problem.

This is a very simple process to unearth our core beliefs and motivation about acquiring certain brands or certain products.

A lot of business owners commit this common mistake. They thought they were selling a watch. Now, this is what I call job scope. I want you to differentiate between job scope and the soul of business. The soul of business is essentially the essence of a mega problem. So, one way to find out why your consumers take certain action is to find out what their reasons and beliefs are deep down.

Extracted from Brand Mastery by Ken Chee & Adam Wong

About the author: Ken Chee is a highly sought after Business Expert to many CEOs, Leaders of SME, Leading Corporations and Businesses. He was awarded the “Spirit of Enterprise Award” in 2005. He is also the key creator and master trainer of “Brand Mystery” and “Millionaire Investor Programme”, which specialise in Brand Strategy, Return on Investment Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Value Investing, modelled on “The Warren Buffett Way”.

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