Shopping By Impulse by Ariel Pfeffer

Product package boxes and shopping bag in cart with laptop for online shopping and delivery concept

In the already decades I have been dedicated to direct sales on TV, a myriad of products with a novelty factor that are presented to you. But how can we choose among that crowd the one that is worth investing in? How can we distinguish the “winner” product?

And this dilemma goes beyond that business and invades any other. Which attributes must this good or service have in order to be attractive at first sight?

That is how I developed “The Rule of the 5 Rs” which explains why people buy something by impulse based on the attributes that each possible good or service has:

1 – Recognition

It means how others see us. They are all those products that feed our vanity and that manage to have someone tell “man, you are looking good”, “I see you thinner”, “Do you realize you look younger?” Classic examples are the entire diet industry, appliances and gym academies, fashion clothes.

2 – Reward

It refers to those products that arise as a self-reward for having done a previous effort. “Because I deserve it!” “I killed myself working all year and now I am going to make that trip to Paris that I want so much.”

3 – Wealth

It refers to all those products that are aimed to acquire wealth and/or power. It can be from a new university career to a system that will allow me to save energy at home. From a VIP credit card with a credit limit beyond what I was expecting, to a course in how to operate the stock market.

4 –Romance

It refers to all those products that make the conquest of the opposite sex easier. Sexy clothes, aesthetic surgeries and all the industry of finding matches fit here perfectly.

5 – Reincarnation

It refers to all those products that allow us to perpetuate ourselves, that make us immortal beyond this life. This factor explains philanthropy and all the donations in exchange for homage plaques in hospitals, museums and schools.

If we analyze all the goods and services we have consumed by the impulse for the last years with a critical eye, we will see that almost surely all of them have one or more of those factors.

But definitely, there is a rule that concentrates everything and it is the one that every product or service needs to have with an implicit positive promise. A promise that when I buy it, something good will happen to me.

Opposite to that and as an example, life insurance (which has other sales channels) is a clear example of a product with a negative promise. We are all going to die, but nobody likes to consider that possibility.

But in the middle of it, there are millions of products and services which are up to us giving them or not touch to one side or the other. If we manage to impregnate them with one or more of these positive promises or attributes, their selling would be much easier. Impulse is playing on our side again!

Ariel Pfeffer