Rational and Emotional: Which are Client’s Buying Motives

rational and emotional buying motives

Rational and Emotional buying motives are customers’ consciousness based on human senses and personal experiences, controlling each other and strongly impact their purchase decisions. However, which are their extreme demands? Rational versus emotional motives, which one is more prominent? Let’s find the answer here!

What exactly are you selling?

Not the product, the solution you provide is the final thing that client wants. For examples, someone who buys a weight-loss product isn’t that interested in the product, but in the benefit it offers – the ability to lose weight.

Taking it one step further, we can see that people who want to lose weight aren’t just focused on shedding pounds – they also want to improve their appearance, boost their confidence, or project a better image at work and around town. In essence, people are seeking the payoff that comes from using a product or service.

To make a purchase decision, customers will consider many aspects guided by 2 sides of their brain.

  • Functional/ Rational Factor: “What will I HAVE when buying this product?”
  • Emotional Factor: “How could I FEEL when buying this product?”

To make it clearer, let’s check the list of 9 rational and 9 emotional demands below. Each demand will be followed by factors that your brand can utilize.

Rational buying motives

Rational motives are reasons to purchase based on facts or logic, such as saving time or money or obtaining the highest quality or greatest value. Here’s the detail:

  • Work better: Faster, safer, higher quality, long using lifetime, better experiences, more energy, etc.
  • Save money: Get a discount, give high product value, include future investment, and get risk reduction.
  • Bring benefits for the family: Better home, more comfortable, memory saving, education support, better living style.
  • Get smarter: Provide knowledge, new skills, maximize productivity, give advice, and solutions.
  • Get life simpler: Integrated services, effective, systematic process, low cost, easy to use.
  • Improve physical health: Mental benefits, accident/illness risk reduction.
  • Keep connection: Newest technology, keep contact, social & community connection.
  • Senses attraction: Taste, sound, smell, style, feel sight.
  • Experiences: Luxury services, fast response, good customer service.

Emotional buying motives

What feeling that customers want from your product?

  • Satisfy the knowledge curiosity: Knowledge, intelligence, enlightenment, wisdom.
  • Feeling control/manage/dominant: To be respected, to be safe, to be trusted, to be relied upon.
  • Feeling comfortable, enjoyable, and relaxing.
  • Improve confidence: Strong, overcoming the fear.
  • Become positive, inspiring, and energetic.
  • Be loved: Friendly, sympathy, happiness, healing, beloved, belonging.
  • Be free: Discovery, exploring, stimulating
  • Feel myself: Honest, Family, Values, Down-to-earth
  • Get attention: Cool, famous, stylish, trendy, fashionable.

Remember to evoke customer actions with an attractive digital presence

Rational and Emotional Buying motives examples

Let’s say you have Slim fit coffee packed product. Here are some of the factors that motivate customers to make a purchase.

RATIONAL factors: “What will I HAVE when buying this product?”

  • Life simplifies: Time-saving, especially for 9-5 staffing, improves your health or your beauty.
  • Senses (Taste) attraction: Keep the original taste of coffee.

EMOTIONAL factors: “Based on rational features, how could I FEEL when buying this product?”

  • Control your weight and your body.
  • Enhance the appearance that improves their confidence
  • Get attention and admiration when losing weight successfully.

Or, think of a Ferrari:

RATIONAL factors:

  • Works Better: Faster, higher performance
  • Experience: Luxurious, memorable


  • Feel free: Alive, excited
  • Get noticed: Cool, playful, popular

Which motive should your brand focus on?

To determine the main benefits of your products, analyze all the rational and emotional motives and arrange them in priority order. The brand can combine 2 types of motives in the positioning process. However, ensure these motives are:

  • Strong and able to evoke actions
  • Possible for the brand to generating and expressing

Your audiences need a reason to believe, thus finding a reason to persuade them in the most effective way. Understanding the deepest demand of customers is the North Star for brand positioning and communication.

Solutions to build a brand from the core

Having a strong buying motive is just a small step in the go-to-market journey. In particular, Branding is an important decision that affects a business’s ability to reach the market.

To have a solid foundation for your brand, Enosta Agency provides a comprehensive branding solution to deeply embedded brand in customer’s minds

Are you ready to take your brand to market? Get started with Enosta today!

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