By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

An Introduction to Consumer Psychology and The Factors Influencing Consumer Buying Behavior

Do you ever wonder what compels someone so much that they not only add an item to their cart, but actually follow through on buying it? Sure, you could argue that it's an item they need, that's in their budget, and that they've done extensive hours of research to make sure it's the best and most logical choice. And sure, sometimes those things may be true, but the truth is much deeper, and honestly, simpler than all of that.

People buy something because it makes them feel some type of way.

Humans are a lot less rational and much more predictable than we like to admit. You can influence your customer's purchasing behavior simply by appealing to their limbic system and making them feel something using psychology.

An Introduction To Consumer Psychology

What is consumer psychology? Consumer psychology takes a look into customer buying patterns and preferences when it comes to advertising and marketing. It evaluates what motivates consumers to purchase a particular product and what goes into the decision process when it comes to selecting which product to buy and who to buy it from.

And, believe it or not, it's a relatively new idea. Consumer psychology is a field of study that has really only been around for the last 65 years or so. While the idea of it may have begun germinating in the early 1900's, the term "Consumer Psychology" wasn't established until the late 1950's, and it wasn't until 1960 that the Consumer Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association was founded. Since then, marketing teams across the globe have been digging into this field in an effort to better understand consumer behavior in order to sell more goods.

Why is Consumer Psychology important?

Many small business owners worry about being too "salesy." But using psychology in your business isn't about tricking anyone. You got into business to make money, right? Understanding consumer psychology and how to make your customers feel something can help you do just that.

And while it may seem daunting at first, you don't need to have a degree to leverage the principles of consumer psychology in your business. A basic understanding of the factors influencing consumer behavior, otherwise known as the principles of consumer psychology, will do the trick. The best trick is to take note of what causes you to hit purchase. Sometimes it can take a little effort to notice the marketing tricks that capture us, but if you start to pay attention you'll be able to quickly pick up on things that work and use them as inspiration in your own business.

How branding influences consumer buying behavior

People buy from companies they know, like, and trust. And while we like to think we are in control of our brand perception, the truth is we can only influence it. That's why it's so important that your brand identity align with your actions.

This is your brand strategy.

Brand strategy plays a huge role in influencing the behavior of your customers. Brand strategy dives deep into understanding the core foundation of your business—including understanding your customer, what appeals to them, and which of the above psychology principles will get them to take action.

An example of psychology in branding

One of the best brands backed in psychology is Sesame Street. An unbelievable amount of research goes into each episode and character to make sure it's going to appeal to its audience (preschoolers) in the right way. And perhaps there's no character more strategically designed than the one and only Elmo.

Elmo is a bright red, furry, three-year-old monster who lives on Sesame Street. He's three years old, the exact age of their target audience. He's soft and adorable, and speaks in a high pitched voice with a child-like cadence which is very comforting and relatable for their target audience. Plus, he's bright red. Perhaps the most eye-catching color on the color wheel, keeping his short attention spanned audience engaged with his fun dance moves and vivd fur.

And just like Elmo is the visual realization of deep psychological research, your brand design is the visual realization of your strategic brand identity.

Brand design takes your brand strategy and translates it into visual communication by creating a brand that makes your customers feel something. They can instantly recognize if your brand is for them or not because it's been strategically created specifically to appeal to them.

Applying consumer psychology to your brand

Now that you have an understanding of the importance of studying the psychology of buying and how it can impact your brand, you have to determine how you will leverage that information to appeal to your customers so they can learn to know, like, and trust your brand. There's no doubt that creating a brand that is psychologically designed to connect with your customers will help you create an unforgettable brand that your customers keep coming back to.

And, if you want help from a brand strategist to create a psychologically influential brand for your business, Happyland Creative® can help you. Reach out to us to book a free call and see what's possible for your business.

We help our clients make more money with their brand and website by designing engaging visual identities and strategic websites.

Connect with us
Brittany Wong wearing a white shirt, arms crossed, standing against a red-orange background
About the Author

Brittany Wong

Brittany Wong is the Founder and Creative Director of Happyland Creative®, a design studio helping small business owners make more money with their branding.