Explaining, escape or a natural trap we need to live with?

Try to think back to some of your shopping when you didn’t have to compare between different products. It’s quite challenging because we do that every time. What about the purchase, which wasn’t so satisfying after all? Eventually it drives us to explain how we ended up to this bad decision.

When starting to think why we explain our purchases, it’s important to consider the natural needs of human being. Finding the best alternatives to satisfy these needs sounds easy, but it might be difficult because nowadays these needs can be satisfied in so many ways. Of course one big contributor is the developing and growing competition in every branch. For example, nowadays people have more ways to satisfy their basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing to name but a few. It’s in our nature that when we have a need to do something, we immediately start figuring out ways to satisfy it. And that’s the time when motivation comes into play.


Motivation is even more complicated to explain, because usually people’s motivation is based on sense or feelings. Our own opinions, others’ opinions and rational thinking have a significant influence on the actual motivation, which drives us to buy something. Well, how to understand the different motives? Actually it’s easy to demonstrate the differences through the generations. In my opinion X-generation is much more deliberate in their decisions than Y-generation. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. I’m now 21 years old and when I think about my parents, it feels like their buying behavior is based more on sense than mine. They just don’t buy wrong colored pants so easily and I believe they buy only when they have a real need, which needs to be satisfied.

When I buy something, very often it has to be connected to the latest trends. For instance if I need to choose between a brand-shirt and a regular no-branded shirt, I unconsciously start finding reasons to make a brand-shirt a better alternative. It’s truly important to make sure your “something” was the best alternative after all. If it wasn’t, we must get a satisfied feeling by explaining why this decision is better than the others.


I think that friends’ opinions have also a significant influence especially on younger people’s motivation nowadays. In my opinion, the division based on generations isn’t so relevant anymore. More like the modern era has forced us to satisfy more needs at the same time. For example, when an adult buys a specific kind of car, it can be related to self-esteem or other needs as well.

Well, explaining is an option when something has gone wrong or in a different way than we wanted. Unhealthy decisions are good examples. Everyone knows that fast food, cigarettes or lack of sport are harmful to us, but sometimes it doesn’t help and we make bad decisions. Explaining comes naturally when we are feeling insecure or some decision needs approval. In general we are feeling frustrated and sometimes maybe a little bit ashamed, if we realize afterwards that our decision was a poor one. We explain because we don’t want to fail.







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2 Responses to Explaining, escape or a natural trap we need to live with?

  1. gurvinderpaul says:

    Nice post Ville!

    I can see that you have worked on for this blog. The topic is not very easy to explain but you have opened the topic through great examples. You have managed to view different aspects about consumer’s purchasing decisions and explained it interestingly.

    I can also relate to your opinion about buying behavior and how insensible it is compared to my parent’s generations, where buying decisions were much more sensible.

  2. katjauusitalo says:

    Really good and interesting text. I like it because it is so true. You have done really good job. I agree with you, my parents really use more sense in their buying decisions than me and I also agree with the whole text. Good job!

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