Do I Reaaaally Need This?

by Lara Joubert

There is no better feeling than walking into Holt Renfrew and seeing Mansur Gavriel‘s new collection. As soon as I see it, I’m thinking “I must have this bag.” I’m just going to sell it next season anyways. Since when did aesthetics take precedence over functionality? It’s all about purchasing that certain lifestyle and I now realize this more than ever. It’s also all about being on trend.

When it comes to my purchasing habits, I use my right mind more than my left. I’m drawn to objects that inspire my creativity. I will buy anything just for the packaging. My apartment is filled with 70$ Dyptique candles… Why? It’s just going to burn anyways – but it’s all about their unique scents and design. I love how each scent evokes a different feeling and accurately describes whatever mood I am in the moment. I also collect wine corks from bottles I really love and I collect crystals, because each one of these objects evokes a feeling. In other words, I’m a hoarder. When it comes to buying handy and essential things, like a washing machine for example, I become totally uninterested because the visuals don’t appeal to me.


While reading Bernadette Jiwa’s “The Story of Telling,” I was automatically inspired by her article entitled “Conversion Vs. Connection.” She wrote about her experience witnessing a customer purchasing a 42$ candle after hearing the sales assistant’s story behind the product. This is essentially the point that I am trying to make – every product has a story. Whether you go back to the store because you received good service or because you love the branding, the action of going back to repurchase is triggered by an emotion. There needs to be a conversion involved in every sale – meaning how is this sale going to convert in more sales? It is all about giving the customer that “feeling.” If there is a connection, they’ll be hooked!

If working in retail for 8 years has taught me anything, it is that there is a market for everything. So many times did snobby sales assistants give potential clients the “stare down” to then assume the client’s worth. I have quickly learnt that you can basically never tell. It is sometimes those who do not dress with huge brand names that have the highest purchasing power. Creating a conversation and finding a mutual connection with my clients has proven to be beneficial for repeat business all throughout my career. Following up by phone and e-mail and making the customer feel like their business is appreciated and rewarded has been a key ingredient to get where I am in life.


All this to say that no matter what you are selling, if there is no story behind it to create that added value, it will not be successful. People nowadays are buying to adhere to a certain lifestyle, not only to purchase a product. There are tons of products and tons of competition. If you build a good story around what you’re selling, you’ll be unstoppable.

Ⓒ Photo Credit

Ⓒ Photo Credit

Ⓒ Photo Credit


3 thoughts on “Do I Reaaaally Need This?

  1. Hi Lara, great storytelling, I like your clear writing style. I think you are indeed a very right-brained buyer! And I agree with you that building a good story will be an asset in a marketing strategy, however, from my point of view, some products such as luxury or ambiance products are more likely to need building this story telling as they may look like for some people useless. On the contrary, everyday life machines, such as washing machines for example, would need to be addressed for both the right and left brained customers not just with a story telling, but more factual points, or testimonials.
    By Claire Couzinie-Holmière

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marylin

    Hi Lara! I so recognize myself in that story! You had me at the first visual as well as the title.I like the way you justified your point by concrete examples of what you experienced during your personal career in the retail industry.

    I’m definitely a right brain when it comes to shopping. I definitely agree with you on the fact that a purchase (especially impulse buying) is triggered by an emotion: if there’s a great story behind the product, it’s sold! And this is something brands can easily convey through their websites and on social media.


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