Psychology in marketing: The Bandwagon Effect

The vast majority of marketers I meet wouldn’t consider themselves psychologists. Yet understanding the growing field of marketing psychology can help persuade and influence audiences in powerful ways.

*Cognitive and psychological biases are defined as repetitive paths that your mind takes when doing things like evaluating, judging, remembering, or making a decision.*

There’s a fantastic book entitled “Thinking fast and slow” by Daniel Kahneman I strongly suggest you give a read if you’re interested in how the human mind makes decisions both consciously and subconsciously.

In this 6 part series, I’m going to be taking a look at 6 different psychological biases and their effect in the world of marketing.Lets start with the one I’m sure most of you will have at least heard of before: The Bandwagon Effect.

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You’ve probably heard the expression “jumped on the bandwagon” and this cognitive bias is what that’s referring to. The idea is that the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others. In other words, it’s much more likely a person will buy, believe, say or do something if a large number of other people have already done so. Remember fidget spinners back in 2017 ...

We’ve also seen this happen with social media networks; where a new networks opens up and it seems as through all influencers, friends, family and other marketers are on this network so you end up joining too.

I’m sure it’s obvious how this can play into your favour when looking at your marketing. If it feels to new users like everyone loves your product or service, they’re more likely to love it themselves. You can play on this if you have a lot of testimonials. If you have a lot of testimonials it might feel like everyone loves your product, company, or business.

Take advantage of user generated content here too. Share photos and videos of your customers using and enjoying your product. You can even add an influencer into the mix to add to the effect and in turn more people are likely to “jump on the bandwagon”.

Ultimately, this cognitive bias is all about critical mass so you have to have the numbers for this feeling to really take root.

You can read our other “Psychology in marketing” articles here:

Zero Risk Bias

Confirmation Bias

The Bandwagon Effect

The Endowment Effect

In-group Favouritism

Not Invented Here