When and How to Use Hedonism to Sell More


by on February 10, 2017

When and How to Use Hedonism to Sell More


A recent study by ConversionXL determined that products that used Hedonistic style descriptions sold more lower price / commodity items like a coffee maker and a blender – vs. more a higher priced vacuum sold more when the copy was utilitarian.

Hedonism is all about pleasure – it’s characterized by pleasure. So the copy for the blender was this when it won:

Vs. this when it didn’t

So not necessarily sexy but copy that talks about the feel, look, taste, and contour of the product. Any ‘hedonic’ aspect of the product – when it was a cheaper product – helped draw people’s desire for immediate gratification out and helped them make a decision to buy.

But… when the price is higher

The utilitarian copy sold more vacuum cleaners.

So if you look at the losing copy for the vacuum cleaner – you can see that people may have been attracted to this for the touchy feely aspects / the immediate ‘feeling’ or hedonic benefits – but because the price is higher this doesn’t mean immediate purchase (even if they like the pleasantness of the hedonic copy.)


So how does this affect the way that you might write copy for your site?

Well… the biggest take-away I’d say is that if you sell something that’s higher priced – talk about the technical aspects that make your offering superior to competitors, or other options on the market.

Lawyers, Construction, Landscaping – anything that’s over $500 perhaps, you want to talk about specifics. What is the length of time it takes to implement, what certifications do you have, what qualifications? What are the cold, hard, dry facts of the situation.

For those selling lower price items, we have to find creative ways to promise the allure of the delicious feelings, smells, tastes, and visual stimulation that awaits – whether it’s specific or said in a more poetic and open-ended way.

For those selling t-shirts – emphasize the softness.

For those selling blenders – emphasize how easy it is to use and the ergonomic design insinuating the feeling of pouring.

For those selling condoms – well… I think you know what you can emphasize.

All of this is well and good, but another thing that this study helps remind us – is that we should be A/B testing dichotomies and copy when we can. So if nothing else, this study inspired my to test out some copy next time I’m working on a company’s product page.


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