What Are Rational Buying Motives?

Rational buying motives are based on logical criteria or consideration of a situation. They are contrasted by emotional buying motives, which are based on feelings.

Rational purchasing behavior often comes in response to a real need or problem. The criteria are strictly practical concerns.

  • Safety, such as buying a replacement battery for a flashlight or fire alarm.
  • Financial considerations, including the value per dollar spent.

The same item may be purchased for either rational or emotional reasons. For example, if a young woman bought new shoes because her existing ones fell apart, it would be a rational buying decision. If, however, she bought them to impress her friends, it would become an emotional buying decision.