Psychological Tricks Big Brands Use To Sell More

Psychological Tricks Big Brands Use To Sell More _ MediaOne Singapore

Hello there, lovely readers! Today, we’re going to delve into the captivating world of marketing and discover the fascinating psychological tricks that big brands employ to boost their sales and win us over with their products.

It’s incredible how these companies understand our minds so well and use this knowledge to craft compelling strategies that leave us reaching for our wallets without even realizing it. So, without further ado, let’s unveil the 15 remarkable psychological tricks that these brands use to sell more!

1. Scarcity – The FOMO Factor:

Big brands often play on our fear of missing out (FOMO) by creating a sense of scarcity around their products. Limited editions, exclusive offers, and time-sensitive deals trigger an urgency within us to make a purchase before it’s too late. We find ourselves saying, “I must have it now!”

2. Social Proof – The Power of Numbers:

Seeing others embrace a brand or product can be incredibly persuasive. Big brands showcase positive reviews, testimonials, and celebrity endorsements to build trust and show that their offerings are well-loved by many. If everyone else loves it, why shouldn’t we?

3. Anchoring – Setting the Reference Point:

Have you ever noticed how big brands present a higher-priced product first, making the subsequent ones seem like a steal? This is called anchoring. By setting a higher reference point, they make their other products appear more affordable, encouraging us to splurge a little more.

4. The Decoy Effect – Influencing Choices:

The decoy effect is a sneaky psychological trick where a brand introduces a third, less attractive option alongside two others. This third option is designed to make one of the original choices more appealing by comparison. It’s like they’re guiding us towards the “better” choice without us even realizing it.

5. Storytelling – Creating Emotional Connections:

Big brands are masters at crafting captivating stories around their products. They create emotional connections by sharing narratives that resonate with our own experiences, making us feel like their products are a part of our personal journeys.

6. The Power of Free – Everyone Loves Freebies:

Who doesn’t love a freebie? Big brands frequently use the allure of “free” to draw us in. Whether it’s free shipping, a free gift with purchase, or a complimentary trial, the word “free” triggers a sense of excitement and encourages us to take action.

7. Priming – Setting the Stage:

Primed and ready to go! Big brands use this psychological trick by subtly exposing us to certain stimuli that influence our subsequent behavior. From color choices to music and even scents, they create an environment that encourages us to feel more comfortable and receptive to their products.

8. Nostalgia – Tugging at Heartstrings:

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Remember the good old days? Nostalgia is a powerful tool that big brands use to tap into our emotions. They resurrect beloved characters, designs, or slogans from the past to evoke warm feelings of nostalgia, making us more likely to buy into the sentiment and purchase their products.

9. The Halo Effect – Associating with Positivity:

Big brands often use the halo effect by associating themselves with positive images, ideas, or causes. By linking their products to something we admire or respect, they create a positive aura around their brand, which then transfers to our perception of their offerings.

10. Urgency – Acting Now!

Similar to scarcity, the urgency tactic compels us to act swiftly. Brands create a sense of immediacy with phrases like “limited time offer,” “ending soon,” or “while stocks last,” encouraging us to make a decision quickly before the opportunity slips away.

11. The Endowment Effect – It’s Already Ours:

Ever noticed how we place more value on something once we feel like it’s already ours? Big brands take advantage of the endowment effect by offering free trials or money-back guarantees. Once we’ve experienced their product, we’re more likely to want to keep it.

12. Personalization – Tailored to You:

Brands now leverage technology to personalize our experiences, from targeted ads to customized recommendations based on our browsing and buying habits. This individual attention makes us feel special and understood, increasing the likelihood of making a purchase.

13. The Power of Colour – Beyond Aesthetics:

Brands put considerable thought into their color choices. Different colors evoke distinct emotions, and big brands use this knowledge to influence how we perceive their products. For example, red can trigger feelings of excitement, while blue evokes a sense of trust and reliability.

14. Reward Programs – Loyalty Rewarded:

Big brands understand the value of customer loyalty and use reward programs to keep us coming back for more. Whether it’s collecting points for future discounts or receiving exclusive perks as a repeat customer, these programs create a sense of appreciation and incentivize us to remain loyal to the brand.

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15. The Power of Influencers – Trustworthy Recommendations:

In the age of social media, influencers have become powerful players in the marketing game. Big brands collaborate with influencers whose values align with theirs, and whose followers match their target audience. When influencers recommend a product, it feels like advice from a trusted friend, making us more likely to make a purchase.


The Rise of Neuromarketing – Delving Deeper into Consumer Minds

Hello again, my curious and cheerful readers! Today, we embark on a fascinating journey into the world of neuromarketing, where science and marketing intertwine to gain a deeper understanding of consumer behavior.

Neuromarketing is a relatively new field that leverages neuroscience and psychology to explore how our brains respond to marketing stimuli.

Big brands have been quick to embrace this cutting-edge approach, using it to fine-tune their strategies and create even more enticing campaigns. So, let’s dive in and discover the marvels of neuromarketing and the ways it influences our shopping decisions!

1. Understanding the Brain’s Decision-Making Process:

Neuromarketing delves into the brain’s decision-making process, helping brands comprehend why we make the choices we do. By using techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), researchers can peek into our brains and observe which areas light up when we encounter marketing messages or products. This information provides invaluable insights into our emotions and preferences.

2. The Role of Emotions in Decision Making:

Emotions play a significant role in our decision-making process, and neuromarketing uncovers the emotions triggered by marketing efforts. Whether it’s a heartwarming advert or an exciting product launch, brands seek to evoke specific emotions that resonate with their target audience, forging stronger connections and driving sales.

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3. The Impact of Visuals and Design:

Big brands invest heavily in visual and product design, and neuromarketing helps them understand the impact of different visuals on consumer perception. By analyzing eye movements and brain responses to visual stimuli, brands can optimize packaging, advertisements, and website layouts to captivate our attention and leave a lasting impression.

4. Pricing Perception and Neuroeconomics:

Neuromarketing delves into the realm of neuroeconomics, exploring how our brains respond to pricing and value propositions. Researchers study how different price points affect our perception of a product’s quality and desirability. This knowledge allows brands to strategically position their products in the market for maximum appeal.

5. Building Trust and Brand Loyalty:

Trust is paramount in the world of marketing, and neuromarketing unveils the neural mechanisms behind building trust. Brands can use this understanding to shape their communication, ensuring their messages resonate positively with consumers and strengthen brand loyalty over time.

6. Neuromarketing in Advertising – Creating Memorable Campaigns:

Advertisements that resonate with consumers on an emotional level are more likely to be remembered. Neuromarketing research helps brands craft memorable campaigns that trigger positive emotions, leading to increased brand recall and customer engagement.

7. Neuromarketing in Product Development:

Neuromarketing isn’t limited to advertising; it also plays a crucial role in product development. By understanding how consumers respond to specific features, design elements, and sensory experiences, brands can create products that cater to our subconscious desires and preferences.

8. The Ethical Considerations of Neuromarketing:

As with any scientific advancement, there are ethical considerations to address in neuromarketing. Respecting consumer privacy and obtaining informed consent for research are paramount. Brands must use neuromarketing ethically and transparently to build trust and maintain a positive reputation with their customers.

9. The Future of Neuromarketing:

As technology advances, so does the potential of neuromarketing. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning allows for more sophisticated data analysis, enabling brands to tailor their marketing strategies even further. Personalized experiences based on individual brain responses may become a reality, creating a new era of consumer engagement.

The Empowered Consumer – Making Informed Choices

1. The Age of Information – Knowledge at Our Fingertips:

The internet has revolutionized how we access information, putting a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. Before making a purchase, we can easily research products, read reviews, and compare prices. This access to information empowers consumers to be discerning and informed decision-makers.

2. Social Media – The Voice of the Consumer:

Social media has given consumers a platform to voice their opinions and experiences with brands. Whether it’s raving about a fantastic product or expressing dissatisfaction with a service, consumers’ voices can quickly spread far and wide. Brands now recognize the importance of social media engagement and actively seek to build positive relationships with their customers.

3. Transparency and Authenticity – Building Trust:

Empowered consumers value transparency and authenticity in the brands they support. They want to know the story behind the products they buy and the values a brand upholds. Big brands are embracing transparency in their operations, sustainability practices, and supply chain, as they know it fosters trust and loyalty.

4. Ethical and Sustainable Consumerism:

Ethical and sustainable consumerism is on the rise. Empowered consumers are more conscious of the impact their purchases have on the environment, society, and global issues. Brands that align with their values and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

5. Customer-Centric Marketing – Meeting Individual Needs:

With empowered consumers expecting personalized experiences, customer-centric marketing has become a top priority for big brands. They employ data analytics to understand individual preferences and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly. This focus on individual needs fosters deeper connections with customers.

6. Two-Way Communication – Engaging with Brands:

Gone are the days of one-sided communication in marketing. Empowered consumers seek two-way interactions with brands. They expect brands to be responsive to their queries, concerns, and feedback. Social media, chatbots, and customer service channels play a crucial role in facilitating this communication.

7. Influencer Authenticity – Genuine Recommendations:

As influencer marketing continues to thrive, empowered consumers gravitate towards influencers who provide genuine recommendations. They can spot inauthentic endorsements from a mile away and are more likely to trust influencers who align with their values and interests.

8. Empowerment through Co-Creation:

Brands are increasingly involving consumers in the product development process through co-creation initiatives. By seeking input and feedback directly from consumers, brands can create products that truly resonate with their target audience, fostering a sense of ownership among consumers.

Power in Reviews and Ratings – The Voice of the Empowered Consumer

1. The Influence of Online Reviews:

Online reviews have transformed the way consumers make purchasing decisions. Before trying a new restaurant or booking a hotel, many of us instinctively turn to review platforms to gauge the experiences of others. Positive reviews reassure us, while negative ones raise red flags. Brands understand the power of these reviews and work tirelessly to maintain a positive online presence.

2. The Psychology of Social Proof:

Social proof, the idea that people tend to follow the actions of others in uncertain situations, plays a vital role in the influence of reviews and ratings. When we see a product or service with numerous positive reviews, it creates a sense of confidence and trust. Brands leverage this psychological phenomenon to attract more customers and boost their reputation.

3. Managing Reputation in the Digital Age:

In the digital age, a brand’s reputation is more accessible and vulnerable than ever before. Empowered consumers can amplify a brand’s reputation positively or negatively through their reviews and ratings. Big brands invest in reputation management strategies to promptly address customer concerns and maintain a positive image.

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4. The Rise of Review Aggregators:

Review aggregators like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews have become go-to platforms for consumers seeking insights on various businesses. These platforms curate and compile reviews, making it easier for consumers to access valuable information. Brands recognize the importance of these aggregators and actively engage with them to build credibility.

5. Encouraging Positive Reviews – The Art of Customer Delight:

Brands now understand that delivering exceptional customer experiences is a key driver for positive reviews. They go the extra mile to delight customers, knowing that happy customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with others. From outstanding customer service to surprise gifts, brands are masters at creating moments worth raving about.

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6. The Impact of Negative Reviews:

Negative reviews can send shockwaves through a brand’s reputation, but they also present an opportunity for growth. Big brands have learned that handling negative reviews with empathy and genuine concern can turn the situation around. Responding thoughtfully to negative feedback shows a commitment to customer satisfaction and can even win back disgruntled customers.

The Rise of User-Generated Content:

User-generated content refers to any content, such as photos, videos, reviews, and social media posts, created and shared by consumers rather than brands. With the widespread use of social media and smartphones, UGC has exploded in popularity. Empowered consumers willingly contribute their experiences and opinions, making them co-creators of brand narratives.

2. Authenticity in the Age of UGC:

In the era of UGC, authenticity reigns supreme. Empowered consumers trust their peers more than traditional advertising, as they perceive UGC as unbiased and genuine. Big brands recognize this shift and integrate UGC into their marketing strategies to convey authenticity and build deeper connections with their audience.

3. Embracing Social Media Advocacy:

Social media platforms serve as hubs for UGC, and brands are tapping into this goldmine of potential brand advocates. By identifying and engaging with influential social media users who genuinely love their products, brands can amplify positive word-of-mouth and reach a wider audience.

4. Turning Customers into Brand Ambassadors:

Empowered consumers who become brand enthusiasts are the best ambassadors a company can have. Through creative campaigns and user incentives, big brands encourage customers to share their experiences. This not only enhances brand loyalty but also extends the reach of brand messaging through the vast social networks of these enthusiasts.

5. The Impact of Visual UGC:

Visual content is particularly powerful in capturing attention and eliciting emotions. Photos and videos shared by consumers featuring products “in the wild” or being used in real-life situations carry immense persuasive value. Big brands curate such visual UGC, showcasing the versatility and desirability of their offerings.

6. Leveraging UGC in Influencer Marketing:

Influencer marketing and UGC go hand in hand. Brands collaborate with influencers who genuinely love their products, encouraging them to create UGC that aligns with the brand’s values. This organic integration amplifies the message and resonates more effectively with the influencer’s followers.

The Allure of UGC Contests and Challenges:

UGC contests and challenges capture the hearts of consumers with their exciting and participatory nature. From photo contests to video challenges, brands entice consumers to showcase their creativity and passion while simultaneously promoting the brand.

2. Creativity Unleashed – UGC as a Canvas:

Empowered consumers love to showcase their creative prowess, and UGC contests provide the perfect outlet for self-expression. Brands encourage users to think outside the box, inspiring them to produce unique and captivating content that reflects their love for the brand.

3. Building Brand Awareness and Reach:

UGC contests and challenges have the power to amplify brand awareness and reach exponentially. As participants share their entries on social media and invite friends and family to vote or participate, the brand’s message spreads like wildfire, reaching far beyond the brand’s existing audience.

4. UGC as Social Currency:

In the realm of social media, UGC becomes social currency. Consumers take pride in being featured by their favorite brands, and sharing their content showcases their affiliation and loyalty. This sense of recognition strengthens the emotional bond between the consumer and the brand.

5. Leveraging FOMO and Virality:

Contests and challenges inherently create a fear of missing out (FOMO) among consumers who wish to be a part of the excitement. The fear of missing out on rewards, recognition, or simply the thrill of participating motivates more and more consumers to jump on the bandwagon and join the UGC frenzy.

6. UGC Challenges for a Cause – Impactful Campaigns:

Brands can leverage UGC contests and challenges to support charitable causes and social initiatives. Empowered consumers are enthusiastic about participating in campaigns that align with their values, knowing that their efforts contribute to a greater good.

7. Collaborative UGC – Bringing Communities Together:

UGC contests and challenges can foster a sense of community among brand enthusiasts. Brands can create collaborative challenges that encourage consumers to team up, share experiences, and collectively celebrate their love for the brand.

Gamification – Transforming UGC into Interactive Experiences:

Gamification infuses elements of games, such as competition, challenges, and rewards, into non-game contexts. In UGC contests, this technique transforms static content creation into interactive experiences that inspire participants to invest time and effort.

2. The Psychology of Fun and Playfulness:

Games tap into the innate human desire for fun and playfulness. When applied to UGC contests, gamification triggers positive emotions and makes the entire experience enjoyable. Participants willingly invest more energy, creativity, and enthusiasm into their entries, leading to higher-quality content.

3. Unlocking the Competitive Spirit:

Competition is a powerful motivator, and gamified UGC contests introduce a sense of healthy rivalry among participants. The desire to win, be recognized, or earn rewards drives participants to push their creative boundaries and deliver outstanding content.

4. Points, Badges, and Levels – The Quest for Achievements:

The inclusion of points, badges, and levels in UGC contests creates a sense of achievement. Participants strive to earn these virtual rewards, which validate their efforts and showcase their dedication to the brand.

5. Enhancing Engagement and Longevity:

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Gamified UGC contests hold participants’ attention for longer periods. As the excitement of earning rewards and reaching new levels builds, participants remain engaged throughout the contest’s duration.

6. Embracing User Feedback for Iterative Improvement:

Brands can leverage gamification to gather valuable user feedback. By analyzing participant behavior, content quality, and engagement patterns, brands can identify areas for improvement and refine their future UGC contests.

7. Interactive Voting and Community Participation:

Gamification extends beyond content creation. Brands can introduce interactive voting mechanisms, where participants and the wider community vote for their favorite entries. This fosters a sense of community involvement and fuels anticipation among participants.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. The author does not endorse or promote any specific brands or products mentioned in the content. Always make well-informed decisions when making purchases, and remember that you hold the power to shape your own consumer experiences. Happy shopping!

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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