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The seven cognitive shortcuts that dictate what people buy – and what they don’t

Marketing Week 12 Jun 2019 08:51

Your customers are faced with an overwhelming selection of products and services, each claiming to be better than the last.

To evaluate their merit on features and specifications alone is often beyond the cerebral capacity (and patience) of most of us, and therefore we are guided by what we’d describe as gut-feel, instinct or defaults – or what behavioural scientists would describe as cognitive biases.

There are over 170 of these biases informing our behaviours, from ‘anchoring’ to ‘zero price effect’, and for better or worse they subconsciously steer us towards the products and services we let into our lives. We’ve sifted through the most relevant to marketing and grouped them into seven shortcuts that could be steering people towards or away from your brand.

READ MORE: Download our report to find out how you can leverage cognitive biases to improve the effectiveness of your marketing.

1. People buy what they know

The science behind it: Status quo, loss aversion

From the bread you buy to where you bank, it is highly probable that you have used the same products and services repeatedly for years, despite better options emerging. Why? Because as humans we are prone to going with the default option and do not like to disrupt the status quo.

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Behavioural scienceCadburyToyotaTrustpilotGreg Copeland
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