Think about this – what kind of mood were you in the last time you visited the grocery store? What about clothes shopping? How about buying a birthday gift for a friend? Moods affect us more than we may realize. Defined as a “distinctive emotional quality or character”, moods can sway our buying preferences. Personally, I hate going to the grocery store. I’m sour about having to go. Maybe because I don’t enjoy cooking, but for whatever reason, I complain about the awful parking and I hurry in the store so I can be finished with it. This attitude does me no good at all. There may be specials I’m missing, new products or even free samples. I’ve learned it is in my best interest to go to the grocery store when I’m not hungry and when I am in a good mood. It makes me more attentive and the shopping experience more “pleasurable.
I recently had to say goodbye to my beloved dog, Piper. I’ve been sad and I find I’ve been craving sweets and wanting to buy stupid stuff for my house. For instance, I don’t need an ice cream maker but there I was online looking at different models! Some psychologists claim that when things seem bleak and a person is tired, angry or sad, there is a tendency towards physical comfort or tactile sensations. Thus my craving for sweets and comfort foods. On the other hand, a good mood can indicate all is well and therefore a person leans towards visual stimuli to see ahead. The future is bright and purchasing a washing machine or even a house is a sign of looking forward to what may come. More often, people base their decisions on how they feel currently rather than trying to predict how they might feel in the future. Think about the mood you were in the last time you went shopping. Was it successful? Did you fulfill your expectations or were you shortsighted because of the mood you were in?
A good mood is liable to make things seem better. A trip to the gym is invigorating, the new restaurant in town is delicious, traffic seems less stressful. A foul mood can highlight minor details and make them appear more cumbersome. The gym workout is frustrating, the new restaurant has terrible service, traffic seems to get worse every day.
Why do we buy what we buy? If a bad mood seeks comfort, then a brand loyalty is number one in consumer research. Brands we have used before are familiar and therefore comforting so we buy what we know. Conversely, a good mood seeks excitement and we are more open to changes and new products while in this state.
All types of moods are important in consumer purchases. Pay attention to how you feel the next time you are shopping for a new pair of pants, groceries, a birthday gift or even shopping for a little something for yourself. My shop allows returns because I understand that sometimes you get an item home and it just doesn’t fit or feel right. We are fallible human beings and we are allowed to change our minds. So take heart, embrace your mood and go shopping. It’s just good to know if you really need that ice cream maker or not…