Freudian Motivation Theory

DEFINITION of 'Freudian Motivation Theory'

A sales theory which surposes that consumers choose whether or not to purchase a product due to unconscious desires and motivators, and that the qualities of the product, such as touch, taste or smell, remind them of past events. Recognizing how the elements of a product trigger an emotional response from the consumer can help a marketer or salesperson understand how to lead a consumer toward making a purchase.

BREAKING DOWN 'Freudian Motivation Theory'

The Freudian Motivation Theory explains the sales process in terms of a consumer fulfilling a functional need, such as blinds to cover a window, as well as unconscious needs, such as the fear of being seen naked by those outside. A salesperson trying to get a consumer to purchase furniture, for example, may ask if this is the first home that the consumer has lived in on his own. If the consumer indicates yes, this may prompt the salesperson to mention how the furniture is warm or comfortable, triggering a feeling of safety.