What Do People Want to Buy During Market Fluctuations?

Yusuf Kapoor
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Over the last few weeks, many people have been asking the same question: “What do people want to buy during market fluctuations?”

As I’m sure you know, it’s a chaotic time. It seems as though Coronavirus has taken over the entire globe. And no one knows how much longer this will all last.

And as a business owner or marketer, you may have felt its effects. Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “In a volatile time like this, what do people want to buy?”

Millions around the world are losing their jobs, scrambling for social security benefits, and stretching every last paycheck they can. Understandably so; who would have expected things to get this bad?

It’s not an easy time, that’s for sure.

But what can you, as a business owner do in this volatile time?

In this article, you’ll see how to take advantage of these uncertain times. With a few copywriting fundamentals, you’ll see how you can thrive, no matter the holiday, occasion, or economic status.

But first, in order to answer the question “What do people want to buy”, there’s a more important question to ask.

Why Do People Buy in the First Place?

Can we agree that people buy for tons of different reasons?

Sometimes it’s to gain some sort of pleasure, fight off pain, fulfill an empty void, and so on.

But at the root of it all, people buy mainly for one reason. They believe that purchase is going to enhance their lives in some way, shape, or form.

But, if there’s anything that psychologists and marketers know, it’s that we humans are not as logical as we’d like to think we are. For example, a study done on buying habits found an emotional response to an ad had a much greater influence than the content of the ad itself.

We’re predominantly driven by emotions rather than logic when making a purchase—about 85% more.

So when it comes to us as marketers, the most important word to remember is EMOTION.

You see, when people are driven by their emotions, logic goes out the window.

Douglas Van Praet, author of Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing, says it best:

"The most startling truth is we don’t even think our way to logical solutions. We feel our way to reason. Emotions are the substrate, the base layer of neural circuitry underpinning even rational deliberation. Emotions don’t hinder decisions. They constitute the foundation on which they’re made!"

This is what makes people spend astronomical amounts of money on weddings, birthdays, Christmases, Valentines, and so on.

So again, what do people want to buy? They buy whatever they are emotionally driven to.

And in order to tap into the deep emotions of your prospects, your message needs to come through.

“What Do People Want to Buy” is Determined By Your Words

Now that it’s clear that emotion overwhelmingly garners action....How do you craft a compelling message to stir emotions and elicit that response from your customers?

Here’s how De Beers did itwith only four simple words. With these four words, they effectively turned “what do people want to buy” into, “what can we make people want to buy”.

In the 1870s, a businessman named Cecil Rhodes broke into the diamond scene in South Africa. He rented water pumps to miners before eventually buying diamond fields of his own.

Upon realizing the potential of the diamond business, he doubled down his purchasing power and took over many diamond fields, and formed a company called De Beers.

De Beers was off and running. They fueled productions and by the early 1900s owned over 90% of the entire world’s rough-diamond supply and distribution. Their goal was to establish a monopoly and have full control over supply and demand of diamonds.

There was no stopping them.

And while prices for other commodities fluctuated over the years, the price of diamonds kept on increasing, even through the Great Depression. It’s estimated De Beers owned a stockpile worth around 5.2 billion dollars at the time (and that’s a hefty amount back in those days).

Then World War II struck.

De Beers found itself in a bit of trouble. The demand for diamonds dropped. Most people stopped buying diamonds and of the ones that were still buying, were selling them. Thus they increased supply, which drove prices down exponentially.

This was De Beers’ worst nightmare unfolding in front of its eyes.

Something had to be done quickly...

People from De Beers traveled to New York and met with an advertising agency to see if something could be done to change the minds of the people and salvage what they could before it was too late.

They brainstormed and planned. Eventually, they created a marketing campaign that introduced one of the most successful lines in advertising history: “A Diamond is Forever”.

And just like that, with those four words, the market burst.

People started to hold onto the diamonds they bought and never sold them. Demand skyrocketed and the value of diamonds increased dramatically.

Those 4 words, “A Diamond is Forever”, has convinced men until today that the size of an engagement ring is directly related to how much they love their fiancée. And since then, diamonds have been glorified in the mainstream, adorned by movie stars, painted by famous artists like Picasso incorporating diamonds... all in an effort to change the perception of their value in the market.

Many marketing campaigns followed, all with the same idea.

Diamond engagement rings became a stepping stone to getting married. And by the 1990s, 80% of American brides got one. And the campaign touched other parts of the world as well, like Japan, Germany, and Brazil.

And the rest is history, so to speak.

The power of copy.

Where in that message does it appeal to the rational, thinking side of the brain? No, it’s all about emotion and stirring the heartstrings that led to De Beers’ immense success.

No matter the occasion, holiday, or economic fluctuations, emotionally-compelling copy can supersede all factors.

As you can see, it's not about “what do people want to buy”, it’s more about “what do we sell that makes people want to buy?”

Here are some fundamentals to keep in mind when marketing during market fluctuations.

What Are You Offering?

A product is something that can satisfy a want or need in the marketplace. And most times, products are judged based on price.

An offer, on the other hand, is something different. Value is the differentiating factor.

Value is anything that makes the purchase of a product easier for your prospects. It’s when the value of the product far outweighs the price.

But, here’s another caveat.

More value doesn’t always mean better. The value you’re providing has to be directly related to the results your customers are looking for.

That’s what’s called an irresistible offer. It would be a no-brainer for your customers to buy.

When you can create irresistible offers, you’re gold. Because at the end of the day, it’s about how enticing you can make your product. It’s about emotion and evoking the deep desires of your customers in order for them to gladly take out their wallets to spend on your company over another.

No Pain, No Gain

People buy for two overarching reasons: to move closer towards pleasure, or to move farther away from pain.

Dan Lok, global business influencer, says, "People don’t buy into something, they buy their way OUT of something."

From a business point of view, what could this look like for you?


  • Generate more revenue

  • Increase profits

  • Get industry recognition

  • Develop long-lasting relationships and connection

  • Increase customer loyalty


  • Lower advertising and marketing costs (PPC, content creation, etc.)

  • Outshining the competition

  • Decrease employee turnover

  • Lower customer acquisition costs

  • Adhering to ad-compliance policies and terms

Which would you target first? And dedicate more effort towards solving?

The same goes for your customers. If you can hone in on your prospects’ pain points using compelling, emotionally driven copy, you’ll be able to win them over with ease.

Some questions you can ask to find out your customers’ deepest pain points:

  • What keeps them awake at night?

  • What upsets them?

  • What painful experience do they have to live every day?

  • What are they scared of?

These kinds of questions will help you understand the question “what do people want to buy” and “what motivates them to buy”.

Target the right pain points and your customers will buy into anything you’re offering them to cure their pain.

Provide the Cure

You may have heard the famous saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Not in the world of marketing.

With all the hysteria today with Coronavirus, I’m sure you’ve seen how it’s affected the market and economy as a whole. People are getting sick and losing their jobs, and countries all over the world are seemingly shutting down in reaction to this pandemic.

But one thing seems to be common across the board… Fear.

People are in a constant state of fear and worry. That could explain why you may have seen videos of adults rioting and fighting in grocery stores and parking lots, stockpiling on toilet paper, hand sanitizers and face masks.

What are people doing? They’re buying the cure.

By having a basement full of food and essential items, the anxiety is eliminated. There wouldn’t be nearly the same hysteria to stockpile a few months ago before all this happened.

This ties into pain versus gain as well.

And it’s because it’s really hard to sell prevention. People want a cure. They want a cure to their problems, frustrations, and worries.

By injecting a “cure” aspect into your offer, you’ll notice a greater response that you may not have had before.


At the end of the day, we live in a world where things will keep happening.

Marketers and businesses are always going to be subject to market fluctuations... sometimes an upswing and sometimes a downswing. But by using the proper copywriting elements in your marketing as we talked about in this article, you can take advantage of any situation you find yourself in. Use the right words and phrases to entice emotions and create action.

If you’re going through a downswing right now because of the Coronavirus, there’s a chance for you to overcome it.

Copywriters understand this concept inside out; it’s what they do best. They know how to inject emotion and drive action through the use of their words. Inquire with us today to see how we can have one of our professional copywriters do that for you.

Yusuf Kapoor

Yusuf Kapoor is a certified copywriter / content writer from Toronto, Ontario. He uses his writing to artfully transition cold traffic into loyal action-taking customers for his clients.His passion for writing engaging copy and connecting with his audience is what fuels him. Yusuf uses his skills in email marketing, funnels and profitable Facebook ad copy to help businesses scale.

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