Imagine this …
It’s Sunday morning and you’ve got a hankering for a greasy breakfast.
You don’t feel like cooking, so you call up a friend and invite them to join you for brunch at your favourite diner.
When you arrive at the diner you notice a huge lineup of people outside the restaurant next door. There must be at least 25 people waiting.
Your friend walks up to the woman standing at the back of the line and says, “This line is crazy. Is it worth the wait?”
“I sure hope so,” the woman replies with a chuckle. “I haven’t eaten here yet, but the guy ahead of us said that he heard they have the best crepes in town.”
Your friend looks at you eagerly and says, “What do you think? Should we check it out?”
What do you say?
In today’s edition of Why We Buy, we’re taking a look at The Bandwagon Effect – why people are more likely to adopt certain behaviours, styles, or attitudes simply because others are doing so.
Let’s get into it.
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The Psychology of The Bandwagon Effect 🧠
If you’ve ever ended up waiting in line to eat crepes when you’d originally gone out looking for eggs and bacon, then you may have “hopped on the bandwagon.”
The Bandwagon Effect (also called “herd mentality”) is a psychological phenomenon in which people do something primarily because other people are doing it, regardless of their original feelings or beliefs.
The Bandwagon Effect is a powerful cognitive bias that has huge impacts on human behaviour. It can even sway elections. One study found that if voters learned that a particular candidate was leading in the polls, they were more likely to change their vote so they’d be on the winning side.
Inside Your Buyer’s Mind 🧐
Your customers want to make the best decisions. They want to be on the winning side and fear missing out on good outcomes. So when faced with a choice about which products or services to buy, they’ll often ignore their own tastes or beliefs if it appears that the majority of people agree on a different choice.
Your buyer’s desire to stay with the herd is so strong that it can persuade them to choose products that they wouldn’t normally even consider.
How To Apply This 🤑
Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?
Make Demand Visible
Look for opportunities to visibly showcase how many people love your products. For brick & mortar businesses, try hosting an event that drives customers to crowd outside your store. If you sell online, apps like POP! or Proof use popups to showcase real-time purchases, thus driving demand.
You can even simply ask your social media followers to comment on a post in exchange for early access to a product, like Blake did on Twitter. Seeing 100s of others were interested surely inspired more of Blake’s followers to jump on the bandwagon.
Show Proof in Numbers
Use real numbers to persuade people to take action. If thousands of people read your email newsletter, tell people that on your signup page (SparkLoop’s free tool makes this easy). If 70% of people prefer your product over a competitor’s, mention it in your ads. Using real numbers is persuasive as people tend to trust data over opinions.
When people are shopping and see a nearly empty shelf, they assume that the product is popular and are more likely to buy it. It may seem counterintuitive, but limiting the number of products available can drive demand. This is a go-to strategy that nearly all luxury brands use to make their products appear more valuable.
The Short of It 💥
If a product is perceived to be more popular than other options, people conclude that it must be better and are more likely to buy it.
Look for opportunities to showcase your popularity to get buyers to hop on the bandwagon.
Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?
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