We are what we buy

“Who am I?”

It’s a big question, and one that has occupied psychologists and sociologists for hundreds of years.

A more useful question, when it comes to buying and selling, is “How do I see myself, and who do I want to be?”

We all have an identity that we want to show to the world, and we confirm that identity through our actions. Therefore, what we buy, and who we buy it from, both affect the way we see ourselves.

Let’s look at a few examples.

  • If you’d like to be seen as a good person, someone with integrity, you might be on the lookout for ways to “do the right thing” – probably without even realising it. As a result, you might find that you end up buying ethical, environmentally or “green” products and services over alternative options.
  • If you’d like to be known as a generous person, someone who gives to others, you might find yourself sponsoring a child in a developing country, or contributing to (and sharing) online fundraising campaigns.
  • If you’d like to be seen as a frugal person, who is good with money, you might enjoy sniffing out a bargain and sharing these good deals with your admiring friends and family.
  • Or if you want to be seen as a productive person, who gets things done, you might like trying out and talking about gadgets that help you to do more in a day and to make the most of your time.

We all buy things, and we all play roles while we’re doing it.

In going about your day-to-day purchases, you probably don't give a lot of thought or attention to this.

However, identity shapes all of our buying decisions – both good and bad. How does your identity affect what and how you buy?

This is an extract from my new book Value: how to talk about what you do so people want to buy it. To order your copy, go to http://www.robynhaydon.com/buy/