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Marketing – the decoy effect

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday April 17, 2007 )

It’s amazing how our minds work. After some buzz around related to election candidates and wine purchases; I’ve just been reading up a little on the decoy effect.

Also known as asymmetric dominance effect, the decoy effect (much easier to say) is the tendency of humans to change preferences between two options when an extra similar option is presented.

Given this tendency and through the addition of a more expensive decoy product or service, we can subtly direct a customer to a purchase of a specific product; one they may not have purchased without the additional option being presented.

It’s been a long day and my brain’s a little fried, so rather than try and explain it further and likely mess it up, I’ll just point you a brief, but very good piece the decoy effect on Wikipedia.

Oh, where does the wine and election candidates come into this? See Seth Godin’s brief post on triangulation and this article on the Washington Post.


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