Research Confirms: If I’m Cryin’, I’m Buyin’

 From Jessica Forrester:

Consumers buy feelings, not features. Your company has an amazing product.  You want to show me everything it can do.  It can get the stains out of my clothes and cut a car in half while calling my ex-boyfriend’s mother to gently inform her that I broke her flower vase – all at the same time.  But research shows that learning these benefits has little impact on me as a consumer if I’m not driven emotionally.

More specifically, research from the Journal of Consumer Research indicates that consumers are led by advertising that provokes emotion rather than informs.  According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of all buying decisions are made at the subconscious level.

While I was appreciative of my new position with Handshakefor the material value, the connection with a tech-savvy entrepreneur, and the way the research will keep me on top of all things Web 2.0, it was this conversation I had with Handshake 2.0 founder Anne Clelland that grabbed me. 

“I want to see Handshake 2.0 help local businesses connect on a global scale,” she told me.  “I want to see them succeed, and grow, and flourish, and stimulate the local economy with their success, and hire locals in need of jobs.  I see the potential for Handshake to really make a difference in our area.” 

Bam.  I was hooked.

No talk of the online-portfolio I'll create while working for Handshake 2.0 to attract high-profile employers caught me up the same way that did.  Call me a sap, but the research shows I’m not alone on this.

Applying my personal experience and the research, I draw this conclusion for companies:

When using Web 2.0, make it your primary goal not to inform the user, but to inspire them.
What does your website say about your company? 

Do your Tweets make me cry?


Jessica Forrester is a content creator for Handshake 2.0.  Specializing in marketing and advertising, she is a writer, researcher, graphic artist, and graduate of the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

Today's Eclipse - Tilia Malbec
Connecting People in the RNR - National Coverage for Southwest Virginia


  1. Andrew M. says:

    I’ll definitely keep this in mind. I’ve tried to keep my tweets informative, but I can see where giving some insight into the softer side of a company could be beneficial. Thanks!


  2. It’s good to keep a balance of the two. The ultimate tweet does both: gives information, and WITH that information, inspires me. A technology company sharing how their innovation can change the world.. etc. Thanks, Andrew!

  3. This is a really interesting standpoint and I definitely agree and can see the value in emotionally based blogging/micro blogging.

    Thanks for an interesting read!

  4. Excellent food for thought.

  5. I think my choice of words here must have been subliminally influenced by your image of the woman wielding a spoon. Case in point!

Speak Your Mind