Why People Buy

Motivation Research and Its Successful Application

Trade Paper
  • 252 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.25 inches
  • ISBN: 978-1632460325
  • 2016-08-29


What causes people to purchase one product over another? Is it the brand name? The brand logo? The design or color of the packaging? Advertisements about the product?

In his 1959 primer on why we buy the things we do, pioneering ad man Louis Cheskin presents his still revolutionary insights into human motivations and desires as expressed through purchasing decisions. Through examples of such classic products and companies as Chevron, Standard Oil, Nescafe, and Uncle Ben’s Rice, Cheskin offers pioneering analysis on how color, design, packaging, corporate symbols, and product names provide psychological insight into consumer behavior which allow businesses to position their products for sale in the marketplace.

Louis Cheskin (1907–1981) was a marketing innovator who observed that people’s perceptions of products were directly related to their aesthetic design. Cheskin discovered that most people make unconscious assessments of a product based on secondary sensory input associated with the product, such as its color or shape, which contribute to a general impression which he called “sensation transference.” This concept revolutionized advertising and marketing.