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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.
When you arrive at your favorite 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 exploring 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.
“Top Marketing Newsletters You Need to Subscribe To”
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 when people do something primarily because other people are doing it, regardless of their original feelings or beliefs.
Do you own any cryptocurrency? Did you buy it despite having reservations but finally gave in because “everyone else was doing it”? I did. Then the crypto market plummeted weeks later. That’s one bandwagon I wish I hadn’t jumped on. 😫
The Bandwagon Effect is powerful and has huge impacts on our behaviour. It can even sway elections. One study found that if voters learned a particular candidate was leading in the polls, they were more likely to change their vote so they’d be on the winning side.
From choosing where to eat… to who to vote for… and how to invest, The Bandwagon Effect influences many buying decisions.
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.
Oftentimes a 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?
Retail & Hospitality
Limit availability of your best sellers
My favorite bakery sells out of baguettes every weekend by 11 AM. If they know they’re going to sell out, why not just bake more? Because offering limited supply drives demand and results in a line up outside their door. When every one waiting in line notices other customers walking out with a baguette, suddenly they want one too.
Media & Education
Create an army of affiliates
Alex Hormozi launched his new book $100M Leads with a live event.
He used a bunch of different brainy techniques to drive book sales including anchoring, scarcity, and authority. He ended the event with a brilliant use of reciprocity (watch the replay to learn more). One smart thing he did before the event was asking his audience to promote the events to 10 friends in exchange for 2 free bonus chapters.
Seeing others promoting the event created the impression that EVERYONE was going, making others more likely to jump on the bandwagon.
More than 500,000 people signed up for the event and $100M Leads instantly became an Amazon best seller.
Make demand visible
Look for opportunities to visibly showcase how many people love your products. Highlight sold out products or products with limited stock front and centre. This creates the impression that people love your stuff and can encourage fencesitters to hop on the buying bandwagon.
Use waitlists and invite-only exclusivity to drive interest
Do you remember Clubhouse? Clubhouse was a live audio social media app and they grew to 2,000,000 users in under a year.
How? They built a hype machine. Clubhouse used the “Velvet Rope” strategy to create exclusivity with a combination of invite-only memberships and smart PR.
Clubhouse’s invitation-only approach made the app exclusive, thus, making more people want in. Within a few months people were posting on social media begging for an invite which fueled FOMO and made others want to jump on the bandwagon.
@ciyaalsuuqadx describes what it felt like on
Clubhouse hype eventually died out. You can use hype to get people to jump on the bandwagon but it won’t make them stay.
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?
There are a few ways we can help:
- 🆕 Join our new Pre-Sell with Pre-suasion Email Challenge and prepare buyers for your next big launch or promotion (it’s $0)
- 🆕 Wanna hook people with your social media posts? Join Neal O’Grady’s free email course on Un-ignorable Hooks
- Get explosive clarity on what works with buyers with Clarity Calls
- Get unstuck—book a 1:1 strategy call with Katelyn to figure out who your best-fit buyers and how to sell more stuff
- Apply to sponsor Why We Buy (next opening in October)