Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The less-is-better effect

There are over a hundred mapped cognitive biases.

As Marketing and Sales are always quick to use any psychological effect to their advantage, it's little miracle that those cognitive biases are included in the standard education of online marketers.

The 'Less-Is-Better-Effect' is one of the best known, and most used.

In short, it stands for the irrational preference for a lesser or smaller alternative.

Wikipedia mentions the following exemplary results of tests:

People prefer a dinnerware set with 24 intact pieces over a set with 31 pieces with a few broken pieces.

Seven ounces of ice cream overflowing in a small cup is preferred over eight ounces in a much larger cup.
A smaller dictionary is preferred over a larger one with a torn cover.
People perceive people giving away a $45 scarf as more generous than those who give a cheap $55 coat.
All these examples are irrational in the sense that even with a few pieces broken, the dinner set of 31 pieces will still be larger than the one only including 24.
Eight ounces of ice cream is more than seven - but the presentation gives the impression that seven ounces is more.
So you might understand why I use this particular photo in this page. It's almost a given that the majority of visitors to this blog or any other web page, will be more attracted and attach more kudos to a detail of a luxury car, over a complete overview photo of a standard car.
This effect is not to be confused with 'less is more'. For in the end, if less is more, than nothing would be the zenith of brilliance. It's the perceived quality and value.
Which has got nothing to do with the real value.
And here we are again, forever ending with the same foundation: marketing, in general, is about perception.
About how you and me and our businesses or image are perceived by the online visitor.

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