5 Behavioural Biases That Influence Buying Decisions
(Part 1)

1. The fundamental Attribution Error

You should be targeting ‘context’ a much as you target audiences. Example: You are walking down busy Oxford Street on the Saturday before Christmas. You see a homeless man 10 meters in front of you sat on cardboard slumped against the Selfridges window display. You the watch a businessman in his tailored suit avert his gaze, picks up his pace past the homeless man. “Some people are so selfish” – you think. You root around in your pocket for some change to donate, there’s only a fiver so you pick up your pace and avert your gaze Your assumption about the selfishness of the businessman is an example of the fundamental attribution error. That’s the tendency to overestimate the importance of the personality and underestimate that of the context, when explaining behaviour

2. Social Proof Why poplular brands become more popular still.

As you drive to the station you spot a group of people staring and pointing up at a tree. You crane your neck back to see the cause of the excitement. You’re being influenced by social proof, becoming interested in an event because others are.

3. Negative Social Proof When a bias backfires

Negative social proof is the inadvertent misuse of the bias. It’s when social proof is used in a way that it has the opposite effect to that intended.

4. Distinctiveness Stand out amongst the noise

Much advertising slavishly abides by the category norms. What might seem like a safe choice in the confines of the boardroom will most likely be a waste of money when it’s out in the real world.

5. Habit How to disrupt behaviour when most of it is unthinkable habitual

As habits are hard to break, brands should identify the rare moments when their grip becomes loosened, such as when consumers undergo life events. These moments are easier than ever before to identify because of the wealth of targeting data available.

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