Enough research has been done not just to suggest, but to determine that our overall consumer population would be unable to accurately describe why they made a certain decision.
Either their brain tries to reconcile the purchase so it doesn't have to feel disappointing, or we want to feel like we used our conscious mind, though the unconscious probably did most of the heavy lifting.
Being an observer — a people watcher — is hilarious. One of the major activities people fall victim to is the idea of social proofing; when consumers choose an activity, good, or service based on the fact that they would be accepted into the respective community.
People succumb to social proofing because it's easy. It eliminates the consumer's need to make a hard decision. Other people will like it, those who aren't supposed to like it won't, and it provides that sense of belonging.
Who would pass off not making decisions?
Social proof is a wonderful tool when trying to get communities together, and an awesome way to attract talent.
And if social proof gets people to buy, then why not?
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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