Monday, August 27, 2012

How We Buy: Impuls(iv)e Buys

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how people buy. Does social media play a part? Is direct mail dead? Do people make sizable purchases without kicking the tires?
A few of my favorite things: @8Faces @AnthologyMag @UppercaseMag
The product I market has a long sales cycle, anywhere from three months to over 18 months. During that time our customer will have numerous opportunities to interact with our brand: tradeshows, our website, our blog, email, Facebook, Twitter, SlideShare, online advertising, direct mail, and more. To increase total sales and to reduce our sales cycle for purchases by others we analyze every interaction for clues.
We sell to other businesses, but this desire to know why customers are buying and to do more of what worked to sell more applies to all businesses. So I wondered what my buying behavior must look like to the shops I buy from. As these reflections became a very long post, I split them into a series of three posts. Today I'll talk about three magazines I fell in love with and how these love affairs began. Next week, I'll consider clothes. And, the following week, furniture.

Uppercase Magazine

I have an obsession with "paperless" paper, especially sustainably produced paper. While planning and designing our wedding invitations, I started following others who had similar afflictions, notably Kristen Magee and her blog Paper Crave. One day she featured a magazine that tucked a letterpress work of art into its pages. The magazine was Uppercase. What sold me on the magazine was Janine Vangool's photo shoot of Issue 8 with her toddler and dog. I loved the interaction. I could imagine the thickness of the paper. The smell of the ink. I was hooked; I've been a subscriber since.



My second magazine is produced in very limited quantities, 2,000 copies. Luckily it is also available as a PDF. I found it through Smashing Magazine's blog. At the time I was looking for inspiration for our wedding favors (very late and now close to our two year anniversary still uncompleted).
I loved 8Faces's theme - designers talking about the font(s) they couldn't live without. The theme alone hooked me on downloading the PDFs. 8Faces also provided a description of their print copy: "[p]rinted on heavy stock, with a foil-blocked cover, and pressed at just 2,000 limited editions, each issue is a true collector’s item." I was intrigued. It took two tries before I got a print edition, Issue 4. I was so impressed I tried again when their latest edition, Issue 5, went on sale this past Wednesday (and as of Sunday copies were still available).


The Bold Italic

I "found" The Bold Italic, the last of the three magazines I subscribe to, the old fashioned way -- word of mouth. A friend, knowing I loved typefaces, recommended The Bold Italic website and their newly launched magazine.
One thing that surprises me about my recent magazine purchases is that I typically hold on to books and magazines that satisfy two criteria: appealing touch and compelling content. For me to buy four magazines (Anthology is the fourth not discussed here as I couldn't remember how I discovered it) without physically flipping through their pages is rare. However, the last few times I've been at an airport newsstand, I've been sorely disappointed with the feel of the paper. For me, besides Anthology, Uppercase, The Bold Italic, and 8Faces, other regular "subscriptions" that I look forward to for their design and paper choice are the catalogs from CB2, Ann Taylor, and Nordstrom.
When was the last time you bought a magazine?
What motivated you to pick it up?
Ciao Bella!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.