Why do people look like their dogs?

ThreedogsIt’s more than just a few silly pictures. It’s a big insight that helps you understand why people (and businesses) buy what they buy.

They do it because it validates them.

Corporations prefer to buy from other organizations that make them feel safe and secure and important. That means a big bank has an advantage writing a loan to a company that thinks of itself as big. It means that a fashionable laptop is easier to sell to someone who sees herself as fashionable.

"Duh," you say.

Sure, it’s obvious, but it’s not easy. It’s not easy because more often than not, marketers are busy marketing things that they would want to buy, not that their customers would prefer. Simple dog example: animal shelters are run by volunteers who hate the idea of dog shelters and having to kill strays. So that’s the way they market. "Adopt this dog or it might get killed! It might happen Monday! Hurry!"

But dog buyers aren’t always motivated that way. They like the idea of cute puppies and warm, comforting, fashionable environments. When the North Shore Animal League tells someone that this pupply is a "golden retreiver mix", they are breaking the typical shelter marketing mantra and instead telling that dog buyer exactly what they want to hear. And if it’s true, it works.