Friday, January 16, 2009

Why Did I Buy That?

I am not one to have a lot of buyer’s remorse. As a woman who literally rushes home from shopping trips to show Hubby Hawks how much I saved versus full price, (yes I have an affinity for Tuesday Morning and TJ Maxx), how could I possibly have buyer’s remorse? I am Mrs. Bargain Hunter, and if I regret a purchase, who cares? It was 80% off after all! I am actually saving money when I’m spending money! (Hubby is rolling his eyes at this moment.)

But in looking through pictures of the Hawklets recently, and at the toys, clothing, and surroundings of stuff in the photos, I started to ponder what drove me to purchase some of the more obscure items we own, and particularly those I select for the babes – you know, the things that you don’t research, compare, discuss, and belabor, like a refrigerator or a new car. The stuff you give a half-glance and throw in a cart while trying to keep two little boys from running off to another aisle or toppling over the side of the cart onto their heads.

Why did I choose those footed pajamas? Why those sippy cups? How did we end up with that particular toy car? Why are we so loyal to Tide?

It’s not that I have a problem with any of these things. I just wonder how they won me over -- how they beat out the other options to make it into my cart and eventually into my household, into our routine. How they wooed my psyche.

What drives my purchase decisions? I spend my professional days researching and strategizing around how moms decide to buy certain brands at certain stores at certain prices – the why, when, where, and how of it all. What moves me? And particularly, when I’m not paying attention?

Research shows word of mom is critical in this equation. But thanks to both anecdotal and academic data, I know it’s just that – an equation. One piece of the pie just isn’t going to satisfy me. I am no robot mom under the control of another mom, emulating everything she does or says.

But yet I am still under some amount of control by the especially savvy marketers who know that as a mom, I am more likely to pick up the thing that makes me feel like I am making the right decision for my child, the right decision for our budget, that is the right color and has intriguing merchandising, that I’ve seen other moms in my circle using or talking about, that is reinforced by some level of advertising, that has claims I can believe in thanks to appropriate PR (and give or take other various factors depending on the brand or product).

The things all around us in the Hawks household have somehow gotten it right – that mom equation. They won out over alternative options. They attracted my mommy hand, plucking them off the shelf, tossing them into our cart, bringing them into our home, into our routine.

And maybe – hopefully – they even gave me a new opportunity to show Hubby how much money I saved by buying them!

1 comment:

sfk said...

mom equation ; like it!!
SFK