Buying Motives

Please send your query

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Query

Buying Motives

We have already seen that needs motivate us. The various buying motives are given here by way of illustration. Essentially, the advertisers appeal to some of these motives or needs in their ad message. Different kinds of motives encourage people to certain goals. All of man’s actions are guided by his cognition, i.e., his apprehension, his awareness and his anticipation. When we ask a question: Why do people buy? We are in reality asking the question of motivation of buying. Motivation is thus concerned with the why of human behavior. Motives arouse and maintain activity and determine the general direction of behavior of an individual. In essence motives or needs are the mainsprings of action. Need or motive is something in an individual that prompts him to action. The following are the important buying motives:

Unconscious Motivation

Freud invited our attention to the unconscious motivation. People are not really aware of everything they want, that they will often have tastes, ‘biases or attitudes which strongly influence their buying behavior. But they really cannot account for it.

Power Motive

Power is a very strong motivator. We buy many things so that we can exercise power over others.

Competence Motives

We have a desire to have job mastery and professional advancement. So a doctor buys many types of equipment according to competence motive.

Affiliation Motive

Man is a sociable creature. We seek the company of others to gain some impersonal reward. The desire to be with other people for its own pleasure is also known. In many life-style advertising of products like cigarettes and soft drinks, we make use of affiliation motive.
Security Needs
Investments decisions, medicines, insurance policies etc. are sold on die basis of this need. Hosieries, woolens, umbrellas, rainwear etc. also get purchased against this need. This need is operative both at the conscious and unconscious levels. Fear is used as negative appeal to emphasize this motive.

Social Needs or Motives

Needs for belongingness is one powerful motive. We’ want to be a. part of national mainstream. So we wish to buy packaged tours to Singapore, Europe, Nepal, Kashmir and other destinations. We want to be members of Diner’s Card or BOB Card or Cancard. We want membership of Dynasty Cultural Club or Rotary Club or Lions Club.

Esteem Needs or Motives

These are the motives of distinction, achievement, status and independence. Pride and vanity motives also fall in this category. These are important buying motives. Automobiles are sometimes bought because they’ give us social status. All premium products are sold against these motives.

Physiological Needs or Motives

Some of our motives are to survive – we buy food products because of this. We buy houses and flats also to survive. We buy textiles for protection and survival. These are all primary motives of buying.

Comfort and Convenience

Different kinds of furniture, interior decor, footwear, woolens etc., we buy for our comfort. Similarly, calculators and computers make it convenient for us to do our accounts, billings and all such other functions. Kitchen gadgets like grinder-mixers, fridges, cooking ranges etc. are bought against these motives.


As Shakespeare has put it: ‘Envy, thy name is woman.’ Women envy the gorgeous dress others wear, the cosmetics others use, the complexion the next-door-neighbor has, and the ornaments the cousins have bought. Men also do not lag behind. Onida Color T.V. is ‘the neighbor’s envy, but the owner’s pride.’ Wardrobes, cosmetics, fashion wear, designer dresses are all sold against this motivation.


Fashion over a period of time changes – in dress, in eating, in design, in make-up, in appearance etc. Certain things are considered to be in fashion and in style. Readymade garments, salwar kurta, trendy tops and tee shirts are all sold on fashion grounds.


Newness itself is a strong buying motive. We now have adopted Odopik washing powder in place of earth or clay, Sanifresh toilet cleaner, Odonil air-fresheners – all on the basis of newness. After a time, newness wears off and we search for something else. We formerly applied Odomos as mosquito repellent on the body, but now we say goodknight to the mosquitoes by using “Goodknight Heater.”