Are you the kind of person who thinks you always make rational decisions? Sorry to break it to you, but you're probably wrong. As humans, we're prone to cognitive biases that can influence our decisions without us even realising it. But fear not! As a business owner or marketer, you can use these biases to your advantage. Here are three of the most important biases you should know about.
Anchoring Bias: First impressions matter (more than they should)
Our brains love to make comparisons, and the Anchoring Bias is the tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information we receive when making decisions. The classic example, you're negotiating a salary and the employer starts by suggesting a low salary. This may anchor your expectations to that lower number, making you less likely to ask for a higher salary.
Set a high price point
You can use the same principle of the anchoring bias to your advantage by setting the initial price for a product or service at a higher price point. This makes any subsequent discounts or promotions seem like a better deal. Just be careful not to set the price too high - if customers feel like they're being ripped off, they'll quickly lose trust in your brand.
Social Proof: When in doubt, do what everyone else is doing (it's best, I guess)
Humans are social creatures, and we often look to others for guidance on how to behave. Social Proof is the idea that we're more likely to do something if others "proofed" it to be worth it. This can manifest in many ways - Let's say you're considering trying out a new restaurant in town. You check out their website and notice they have a section with customer reviews. You read through the reviews and notice that several people have left positive comments about the quality of the food and the friendly service they received. This social proof – the positive reviews from other customers – can influence your decision to try out the restaurant yourself.
Show how happy you made others
As a business owner, you can use Social Proof to your advantage by showcasing customer reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content on your website and social media channels. When potential customers see that others have had positive experiences with your brand, they'll be more likely to trust you and make a purchase.
Scarcity Effect: You want what you can't have (it’s the unfortunate truth)
Have you ever noticed that you want something more when you think it's rare or in short supply? That's the scarcity effect at work. We tend to value things more when we believe they're scarce or exclusive. For example, if a store advertises a limited-time sale or a product that's almost sold out, you may be more likely to make a purchase to avoid missing out.
Push it, but be honest
You can use the Scarcity Effect to create a sense of urgency around your products or services. Try creating limited-time offers, exclusive products, or using language that implies scarcity (e.g. "Only a few left in stock!"). Just be sure to follow through on your promises - if customers feel like you're not being honest about scarcity, they'll quickly lose trust in your brand.
So there you have it - three of the most important biases that can impact our decision-making. As a business owner or marketer, understanding these biases can help you create more effective marketing campaigns and build stronger customer relationships. And who knows, maybe you'll even learn something about your own decision-making process along the way.
Want to dive deeper into the world of cognitive biases and how they can impact your business? Our recent white paper, "Winning the Consumer Mind Game: How Biases can Make or Break Your Brand", delves into 11 of the most common biases and how businesses can use them to their advantage.
From the confirmation bias to the bandwagon effect, we explore how these biases shape humans' decision-making and offer practical tips for incorporating them into your marketing strategy. If you want to take your branding game to the next level, be sure to check out the full paper down below.