According to Robert Cialdini, consumers influence


Consumers display a certain behavior. The American psychologist Robert Cialdini has formulated seven influencing principles based on this behavior. These are the ways in which companies influence consumers. It works especially well when people almost don't have to think about it.


Whoever does something for someone else will one day receive something in return. This is the reciprocity principle of Robert Cialdini. The psychologist thinks that people who only take and never give are not found sympathetic. That is why companies must do everything they can to give something in the right way.

It's not just about giving, but especially the way you give something as an entrepreneur. A personal and unexpected gift ensures that the consumer attaches importance to your company. As a company you can for example give a gift, give a discount or show that you have a lot of knowledge about your product.

Consistent behavior

People like it when they know what to expect and when agreements are met. We call this 'consistent behavior'. Consistency is a pretty influential weapon, because people like to hold on to things they have said or done.

A good example of this is one newsletter. Has anyone registered? Then the person will feel more connected to your company and the person will take action more quickly (for example, to purchase a product). People who make a commitment do not usually deviate from that as quickly, is the thought of Cialdini.

The special evidence

Consumers often first look at the behavior of others. Other consumers often determine what is good for them. Entrepreneurs and marketers no longer have to rely so much on their own ability to convince others. Customers convince each other. And if we want to convince, we convince through other people.

In an advertisement you often see 'normal people' in 'normal circumstances', who want to present a special product to each other. Because people buy from people, many web shops put on their site: "Lovers of this product also ordered ...". The consumer then thinks: "Apparently it is handy to have these things together, because someone else has it that way" and proceeds to an additional purchase.

Ensuring sympathy

If a company comes across as sympathetic, the consumer feels willing to do business with the company. That makes sense, because people like to say 'yes' to others we like. It works with both acquaintances and strangers. To determine when we find someone sympathetic, we need to go into psychology a little deeper.

In general, we love people who are like us, who compliment us and people who help us achieve goals. In addition, we judge people in their daily lives based on their appearance. The customer assumes that a visually attractive seller has more good qualities than a less handsome seller. People quickly attribute the qualities 'intelligent', 'friendly', 'social' and 'talented' to an attractive sales person. That is why people with a well-groomed appearance are hired more quickly.

Radiate authority

People are docile beings. We rely primarily on experts, experts and others with great credibility. Authority is therefore paramount. We find someone to be an authority in a certain area of knowledge, if this person can be trusted and if his statements are correct.

With a sale you can use this by providing expert advice. First show that you are an expert before you try to influence the customer. Unfortunately people quickly find it arrogant if you claim to be an expert in a certain area. That is why it is better to let others recommend you. Consider, for example, previous customers, or good assessments from consumer organizations, for example.

The iPhone X on a black background

The iPhone X is a good example of created scarcity.

Create scarcity

We all want products that are hard to come by. More value is attached to a so-called 'rare' item than to products that you can get from any store. In short: scarcity makes a product attractive. It seems that a scarce product is more attractive.

That is why it is a good idea to sell certain products only temporarily or to have them appear in a limited edition. People get the idea that they will miss out on something special if they don't buy the product directly. Apple did this for example with the iPhone X. The device was only produced for a limited time, in honor of the anniversary of the iPhone. After that the device was no longer available. This made the iPhone X the best-selling smartphone in the first quarter of 2018.

Don't just tell us what the benefits are of your service or product, but especially what makes your product so unique. The customer then knows what he or she could lose if he did not immediately click on the order button.

Shared identity: unity

We would like to belong to a group. In high school it was a nasty experience if you were not chosen with gymnastics. That has to do with a shared identity: everyone who was elected shared that they were elected. If you were not chosen, you did not share this. In other words: there must be something in common to be interested in each other.

If we again take Apple as an example, and we consider this Robert Cialdini principle, then we understand why the brand is so successful. If you have an iPhone, you belong. Customers all share that they have an apple on their device, love beautiful designs and that they can afford such an expensive device.

From the manufacturer, the shared identity is that Apple also likes beautiful designs. At Apple, marketers work who remind the target audience of the shared identity all the time. The Apple Stores and Genius Bar are good examples of this: you are part of the Apple club. You are welcome in their clubhouse.

The customer has the feeling that he or she belongs and will make every effort to keep up with it. In this case it is therefore very likely that the consumer will also buy a new device as soon as it is released. You must therefore assume that the shared identity always returns to groups with the same interests.

Bloeise editor

The Bloeise editorial team consists of Thomas Lapperre. These messages are not listed in a personal capacity because they are written by others: hired copywriters for content articles, submitted press releases and sometimes sponsored content. The editors cannot take any responsibility for submitted press releases -[…]
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1 Reactie
  • Kaaijven says:

    This is a very interesting explanation from the American Psychologist, it is true that "belonging" is an integral part of an important factor in society. Apple has seen its chance in that regard, from that point of view, to save money and it has also worked. Having said all this, it is very important to keep your marketing strategies up to date.

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