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The Three Things that Drive Purchases

I just spent a disproportionate amount of money to have a snack basket of chips and dips and other munchies delivered with a balloon to my son at his new office to commemorate his first day at work as a college graduate.  All I cared about was that great feeling a parent gets from doing something really cool – and unexpected – for their child.  If I were thinking solely with my wallet, and my logical determination of worth and value, the purchase would have never been made.

“Human behavior flows from three main sources:  desire, emotion, and knowledge”

– Plato

Why is it that, as business owners, we forget emotion as a primary driver of our value proposition?

Drybar, a salon for blow-dry services, clearly understands the power of emotion. According to Alli Webb, the founder of the company, “Drybar’s success, at the end of the day, is based on how we make women feel.”  And that value proposition – that feeling – is created and reinforced at every juncture of the customer interaction.  It is all about creating “client happiness.”

  • No sales pitches for add-on services – just blowouts
  • Chairs are spaced further apart to create a specific ambiance, sacrificing sales per square foot       by having less chairs per store
  • There are iPhone chargers at each station
  • Lighting is designed to enhance the experience
  • Each potential new stylist is tested for “personality fit” as well as styling acumen
  • Bartenders (cashiers) are not only instructed to ask each client about the experience, but are also trained in body language and facial expressions to assess if someone is really not happy.
  • Everyone in the company is trained to respond to unhappiness – in person or on social media.

A blowout for $40 would seem to be either a luxury “nice to have” indulgence that would not occur frequently, or alternatively a commodity that could be easily replicated by cheaper copycat operations.  After all, if the blowout looks good after the service is performed, does any type of “feeling” really matter?

Evidently, it does.

When Drybar opened in 2010, in the heart of the recession, it made a bet that while women were cutting back on many hair services to save money, they would still splurge on a blow-out, if it made them feel good as well as hide the need for an expenditure on a cut and color.

  • Emotion – women feel good.
  • Knowledge – blow-outs hide the need to spend more money on cut and color
  • Desire – Drybar has grown to 42 salons nationwide in five years

Feeling good seems to be making all the difference.  How are you benefiting from the power of emotion in your value proposition?

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