The One Undying Need

Advertising is based on one thing. Happiness. You know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from Fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road which screams with reassurance that whatever you are doing, it’s ok. You are ok.

– MadMen, Donald Draper

I love this scene … it’s one of those where the words just make sense, and perhaps even spark a new understanding.

There’s a reason for this.

We all live our everyday lives mostly just needing to feel “ok.”

We need to know that our decisions are good, that our actions are good, that what we feel is good and right.

And much of life’s discontent comes from not knowing.

Not knowing it’s ok to love who you love. 

Not knowing the career choice you are about to make is the correct one.

Not knowing if the $200 you just spent on a new jacket is going to be justified, if it’s going to be what you really want, if you are going to look good in it, if other people are going to like it.

And all variations of these questions, from a business standpoint, are what stop people from buying.

(And on the flip side, many people buy BECAUSE they feel like that choice is going to help them feel ok)

We just need to know we are going to be OK.

Let me share an example from my experience marketing in the coffee industry … 

(I published a magazine all about coffee for about 8 years, if you’re curious – Extracted Magazine)

Selling coffee online to new customers has always been challenging.

(Typically a roaster or cafe would mostly only be selling coffee online to people who’d enjoyed their coffee already in person)

The thing about coffee, especially when you get into “specialty coffee” (think similar to craft spirits or wine), is there is so much unique about every coffee being sold …

That unless you’ve had the coffee, *or you really trust the coffee roaster*, you can’t know you are going to enjoy what you are about to buy!

Not to mention everyone has their own personal preference, an ideal which is often impossible to replicate.

To try to deal this, and get new customers to buy their coffee, most coffee companies have taken the route of saying they have “the best” coffee in one form or another. 

(Including much florid prose designed to make the mundane sound fancy and impressive)

the roaster here is irrelevant … these words in reality mean little, because they could apply to nearly every specialty coffee roaster

Often baseless and pointless claims for something which is entirely preference based.

But what else could a coffee businesses do to try to get new customers to buy?

Here’s how an experience for a new prospective coffee customer could look like:

Let’s say you run into a new coffee roaster, and check out their website. (Maybe you found them via social media, an ad, a recommendation, etc)

It *looks* like they do pretty good work, got nice reviews, you see their coffee offerings, the descriptions sound good …

But there’s a little voice in the back of your head.

Will I like this? 

Will it taste good? 

Am I wasting my money?

As someone who’s spent years handling people’s transition through this point … I can’t possibly add up how much energy exists and is lost here for so many people

Truthfully, I do this, and I really know coffee and the people in it.

There is much flittering around on the fence over an expense which is relatively small … 

And yet if you buy coffee which you don’t like, it feels really bad to have spent that money and time.

What does the potential buyer in this case really want?

The best coffee in the world?



They want to know that they are going to be ok.

They need to FEEL like they are going to be ok.

It has less to do with the coffee (or whatever product/service you are selling) than you think. 

We all just need to know that our decisions are OK. 

That our desires are really OK. 

That we are going to feel good about our choice no matter the outcome.

What happens in coffee (as a business) if you embrace this is you take a stance where instead of trying to convince people they’ll enjoy the coffee … 

You let them know you love what you do and you love the coffee and you love them.

Through that passion and connection, people will get it. 

(You can’t directly say those things though, there’s a finesse to the rest of your communication and message which I’ll get into another time)

If you do it well, people will even feel that if they don’t like this one new coffee, they will still be OK.

Because it’s not about coffee … or any product or service. 

**It’s about our undying need to feel OK.**

If you can successfully communicate in a way which helps people feel ok about their decision to chose you, to buy your products, your services, etc …

Then you’ll never be without an audience of people who want to keep receiving more from you.

*Like what you see here? Want to learn more about creating irresistible magnetism within your audience and “forever customers” without selling? Click to Sign up to my email list, receive my weekly thoughts (and more to come).*