Have you ever purchased an item without needing it? Ever wonder why companies persuade through advertisement, other than let the quality products do the talking? What is the psychology behind making you buy the product?

This article highlights the psychology used in advertising that captures the heart of the consumer. A must read for entrepreneurs to influence the masses to purchase their products and services.

Validation from social circles

Assume that there are two Facebook pages of your favorite musician, one has 1,000,000+ likes and the other has 200,000 likes, which one would an individual most likely follow? Social validation comes from making decisions based on what others are doing with the ‘there must be a reason why everyone else prefers this product or service’ mentality. Advertisers can capitalize on this to influence the undecided masses.  Ensure that you hire a good social marketer with great experience to increase traffic to your website.


Humans are psychologically wired to follow through once they have made a commitment. Advertisers can capitalize on this. Knowing how to convince a consumer make a commitment is as good as making a sale. This principle makes one desire to be seen as committed, one that keeps their word.

Entrepreneurs have capitalized on this principle by making consumers commit to something small, increasing the chances of purchase of a product or service. The following are practical examples of how one can use this principle;

1. Giving out free e-books on subscription to a certain website. This has proven highly effective. For online courses, one can offer a free webinar; chances are high that after one view, they are highly likely than not to purchase a package

2. Giving out a small free sample of a product, enticing them to purchase the actual product whenever they need it.

3. Instead of having a webpage with all the contents, making the site visitor click on one content, to the next, till the end. By getting the visitor to commit by making one click, chances are high that they will follow through till the end.

3. For websites that are providing online services, have different packages e.g. free, premium, gold etc. The free packages should be basic services which when they switch to premium service, they have a better package. When a potential consumer commits by subscribing for free, chances are high that they will subscribe to a better package.


For instance, you are in a new town, there are four taxi companies whose number you got online, not on referrals. In the first days, you call all four; two companies arrive on time and handle you in a professional manner. It is highly likely that whenever you need a cab, you will contact either of the two. Why? The reason is as simple as ‘consistent’. We tend to think that since the customer service was perfect the first time, it is highly likely that it will be perfect over and over again. This is the principle of consistency. It is highly likely that if you ever get terrible service on a company that you are consistently using, you will forgive and let go.

Advertisers can capitalize on this when advertising by trying to show consumers that they are consistent in delivery of service and quality of products.


When we meet someone who is like us, in terms of personality, or something, albeit shallow e.g.  nice looks, we tend to purchase from them. Psychologists have proven this as one strong advertising and marketing tool. Online service and product providers should maximize on this to increase sales.

Practical ideas on implementing the principle of likability;

1. Use colors and fonts that are appealing to your target market. The younger age groups prefer bright colors, playful fonts and pictures. This will capture their attention and influence their buying decisions.

2. Use attractive models when displaying products online.

3. The ‘about’ page should be utilized in such a way that you show your target customers how much you have in common with them. Create a rapport such that they feel an great connection.

4. Advertising your products online should speak to your potential customers, speak their language, and make them feel that you are one with them.

The illusion of scarcity

Social psychologists illustrate that should advertisers make their products appear scarce, consumers will seize any opportunity to purchase the products. The less available a product or service is, the higher the chance of people buying even if it is at a higher price, they value it more.

1. Offer products or services for a specific period of time, when they run out, ensure to display ‘sold out’. Next time you offer a sale, they will rush to purchase to avoid being locked out.

2. Limit the number of products that can be purchased by a person


When faced with a decision about whether or not to purchase a particular product or service, our human minds dictates that we choose one that has been endorsed by a ‘person in authority’.  If a high rolling athlete uses a certain energy drink, then it must be the best, if they wear a certain perfume, use a certain phone etc… This principle makes a product / service more appealing. Advertisers more often than not use these ‘authority figures’ when introducing their products.

Entrepreneurs should employ these six principles that influence human’s decisions while making a purchase. Once you identify your target market, ensure to get someone in ‘authority’ to endorse the product/ service, make the product appear scarce. Be consistent and engage your potential customers for commitment make your product likable and let it appear to have the validation of the masses. This mix is the perfect recipe for an advert that has a direct impact to sales.


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