4 Consumer Psychology Principles to Incorporate in Your Marketing

Understand the Psychology of Marketing

Marketing involves influencing people’s behavior. Whether you want to drive traffic to your store, increase sales for a specific product, or introduce a new service you want people to buy, visit, and engage with your brand. It is important to keep in mind consumer psychology principles that will help you better reach your target audience.

Principle of Reciprocity

The principle of reciprocity is one of the basic laws of social psychology which states that in most situations we pay back what we received from others. So how can you use this in marketing? Try giveaways, free swag, or an exclusive gift. For this to work, give away something free before you ask for something in return. This could be especially helpful when introducing your brand to new customers or introducing a new product.


Scarcity is the marketing psychology principle that people place a higher value on something that is scarce and a lower value on those that are in abundance. This is why statements like ‘this is rare find’ or ‘this is one of a kind’ immediately gives us the perception that the item being described is valuable. This tactic operates on the worth people attach to products or services. This also is related to the principle of supply and demand. If you approach this method as if there ‘used’ to be a lot of a product, and now to due to the high demand there’s only a few left, people will be very receptive.

Social Proofwoman with mobile on social media

This consumer psychology principle is one many are familiar with, the idea that people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This is why reviews and testimonials from current customers are so effective. We trust others’ reviews because they have experienced the product or service, unlike ourselves. Additionally, this is why anything that experts use is perceived as being great or better products because the experts are more knowledgeable than us in their specific area. Celebrity endorsement is also another great use of social proof. We will buy and use the products and services used by celebrities because we want to look like them.


Anchoring, or rather the art behind a sale, is the principle that people base decisions on the first piece of information they receive. When an item used to be $100 is now marked down to $55 we’re more apt to purchase. This is also why stores like T.J. Maxx show the ‘retail price’ next to ‘their price’. Displaying the original price is the anchor, and helps the buyer determine whether or not they determine it to be a ‘great deal’ or not.

These are just a few consumer psychology principles that you could incorporate into your marketing. There are many other principles and things to consider when engaging with your target audience. The key is to understand your audience, what motivates them, and what are their driving values.

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