Focus On Why People Shop, Not Why They Buy

Jason Fried, the founder of Basecamp, talks about the concept of the "The Why before the Why" (and it relates to content).

He explains it with the example of a mattress brand:

Why might people BUY your mattress (rather than someone else’s)?
- You have the softest mattress.
- You have the cheapest mattress.
- You’re the only safety-certified water mattress on the market.
- You’ve won a mattress award.
- You’ve sold more mattresses than any other company.

But why might someone start SHOPPING for a mattress?
- They have back pain.
- They can’t sleep properly.
- They recently had surgery.
- And all of these things are making them antsy towards their family and unfocused at work.

Notice how the statements suddenly focus on THEM and not YOU anymore.

If you are aware of the pain points that make people go shopping, you can educate them on the solution.

Suppose someone is dealing with back pain and doesn’t even know it’s because of their mattress.

If you are aware of this consideration process, you can create educational content around how to determine whether it's their mattress that's causing back pain.

When they start Googling for “back pain”, they might come across that article, finally figure out it’s their mattress that’s causing their problem and end up buying from you - even though they never thought of buying a mattress before.

People make this mistake all the time with content. They talk about why people should buy from them.

“We’ve won this and that award”
“Featured in Forbes”
“Worked with over 200 clients”
“Inc. fastest growing company”
“The cheapest price, the best process”

This way, you’ll only catch people who are already solution-aware.

Instead, create educational content that illuminates people’s problems and pain points and offers insights to solve them.

That way, you’ll also catch people when they are only problem-aware.

Focus on why people go shopping, not on why they buy.