Mere Exposure Effect

Imagine this…

You’re sitting in a cute cafe waiting for your friend to arrive.

The woman at the table beside you is reading a book with an interesting title: Atomic Habits.

Apparently the barista also noticed the book because he stops to ask her about. 

“It’s so good,” the woman says. “One of my favorite books I’ve read this year.”

You’re immediately curious about the book. You even visit the Amazon website to read reviews, but resist the urge to buy it as you already have a stack of unread books at home.

That night as you’re scrolling through Twitter, you see a viral thread breaking down the “5 lessons I learned from Atomic Habits.

You read the thread and make a mental note: when you finish the books you’ve already bought, you’ll get Atomic Habits.

The next day at work during a video call, you look at the bookshelf behind your colleague and see Atomic Habits front and center.

It seems like this book is EVERYWHERE.

On the way home from work, you pass by your favorite bookstore. Atomic Habits is prominently displayed in the window. 

What do you do? Do you keep walking or enter the bookstore?

In today’s edition of Why We Buy, we’re exploring the Mere Exposure Effect – how continued exposure leads to increased trust.

Let’s get into it.

“Top Marketing Newsletters You Need to Subscribe To”

The Psychology of the MERE EXPOSURE EFFECT 🧠

Coca-Cola—argubly the world’s best known brand—spends $4B a year on advertising.

You may think that’s crazy. After all, everyone already knows about Coke. 

But Coke knows something that many brands don’t:

The more familiar we become with a brand, product, service, or idea—the more likely we are to buy into it.

This is what’s known as the Mere Exposure Effect.

Humans evolved to be wary of new things (what if it’s dangerous?!). But the more we see somethng, the more we come to like and trust it.

Research finds that how much we like something is increased based on the amount of times we’re exposed to it. 

Just think about the catchy new song that’s topping the charts. The first time you heard it, you probably didn’t get what all the fuss was about. By the tenth time, you were probably tapping your toes and singing along. The song didn’t change—you did.

Inside Your Buyer’s Mind 🧐

Your buyers are initially weary of your brand and products.

They want to know they can trust them before they buy them. 

The more times they hear about your brand, see your logo, hear testimonials, and read your content—the more familiar they become with it.

When the buyer eventually considers buying a product or service like yours, they’ll unknowingly favor the brand that they’ve seen the most.

Repetition builds trust.

How To Apply This 🤑

Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?

Show Up Consistently

Don’t expect your audience to land on your sales page and buy your product within seconds. Warm them up to the purchase by creating continuous touchpoints across your paid and organic social channels by repurposing your long-form content into bite-sized nuggets of social media wisdom.

Leverage Niche Channels

Niche channels—like topic-specific podcasts, newsletters, or blogs—can be great places to advertise. You can get in front of a very specific audience frequently and align your brand with one that they already trust, thus benefitting from the Halo Effect (which we covered in a previous newsletter).

Use a tool like Sparktoro to figure out where your audience already hangs out and partner with their favourite creators. This will increase familiarity with your ideal audience and create the perception that you’re everywhere.

We’ve partnered up with some great brands ourselves with Why We Buy 

Make 3 Types of Content

Your audience is filled with people in different stages of familiarity with your brand and products. To speak to your cold, warm, and hot audience create content specifically for them. 

Cold audience 👉 Showcase your expertise and help them solve problems

Warm audience 👉 Explain what you do, who you serve, and how you’re different

Hot audience 👉 Share proof that you’re awesome and give them a reason to buy now

The Short of It 💥

The more familiar people are with your products and brand, the more likely they are to buy from you.

It takes people a few interactions with your brand and products to decide they trust you enough with their hard-earned money and most importantly time.

Find ways to show up consistently across multiple channels so that when prospects are ready to buy, they come to you first.

Until next time, happy selling!



Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?

There are a few ways I can help:

  1. Get explosive clarity about what works with buyers by learning how to conduct 1:1 Clarity Calls (2000+ happy students)
  2. *NEW* Learn how to mine online reviews from real buyers to generate ideas and copy that converts (250+ happy students)
  3. Book a 1:1 strategy call with Katelyn and get the answers you need to get unstuck and move forward with confidence

Thank you to our featured sponsors

Written By Katelyn

Katelyn Bourgoin is the CEO of Customer Camp, a 4X founder, and a cheese lover. She lives by a simple mantra: whoever gets closer to the customer wins.

Related Posts

Red Sneaker Effect

Red Sneaker Effect

Let’s explore the Red Sneaker Effect—why breaking established social conventions signals higher status.

Hyperbolic Discounting

Hyperbolic Discounting

Let’s explore Hyperbolic Discounting—why we choose immediate (and often smaller) rewards over those that come later.

Affect Heuristic

Affect Heuristic

Let’s explore the Affect Heuristic —why we make decisions based on our emotions.

Choice Paradox

Choice Paradox

Let’s explore the Choice Paradox —why having too many choices can lead to fewer sales and fewer happy buyers.



Let’s explore humor —why we build better relationships with people (and brands) that make us lol.



Let’s explore color — why we are influenced by the colors we see.

Subject Lines

Subject Lines

Let’s explore Email Subject Lines – how to write email teasers that actually get opened.

Pratfall Effect

Pratfall Effect

Let’s explore the Pratfall Effect – why imperfections can actually make people like you (or your brand) more.





Wanna get inside your buyer’s head? Join our newsletter and get one customer psychology tip delivered straight to your inbox each week. It’s like a 2-min workout for your brain.

You're in. Giddy up! 🤠

Become the go-to customer EXPERT

If you can figure out what makes people tick, click and buy, you can make bank

We’re often asked if we offer a certification program teaching our in-depth research methods. The answer is… not yet. But we’re working on it.

Want first dibs when we launch our new certification program? Jump on the waitlist.

You're in. Giddy up 🤠


Wanna get inside your buyer’s head? Join our newsletter and get one buyer psychology tip delivered to your inbox each week. It’s like a 2-min workout for your brain.

You're in!


If you can figure out what makes people tick, click and buy, you can make big $$$. We're working on a new research certification program. Want first dibs when we launch it? Hop on the waitlist.

You're in!


Wanna get the buyer insights you need from key stakeholders (and look like a boss)? Our new Stakeholder Mining Kick-off Session training is coming soon. Join the waitlist to get first dibs.

You're on the waitlist! We'll reach out soon!


Wanna get the buyer insights you need from key stakeholders (and look like a boss)? Our new Stakeholder Mining Kick-off Session training is coming soon. Join the waitlist to get first dibs.

You're in!