No. 7 of 36 The Bandwagon Effect

The term bandwagon stems from “hop on the bandwagon,” in which people become interested in or follow an activity or cause that has recently gained popularity, often to gain acceptance by or recognition from others.

In-store, there are many examples of the bandwagon effect in action. For example, supermarket wine shoppers will often go for the bottle that appears well depleted on shelf (bottles missing and far from fully faced).

  1. Appear popular – A key aim for your brand is to encourage shoppers to perceive that you are very popular and that you are the choice many other people go for.
  2. Be everywhere – Otherwise known as the mere exposure effect. The more shoppers see your brand, the easier it will be for them to recognise it and therefore, the more popular they will perceive it
  3. Be talked about – Give shoppers and consumers reasons to involve your brand in their wider conversation such as on social media.

The bandwagon effect is a powerful cognitive bias. One that offers your brand the chance to grow through a perceived popularity. But you also need to understand how in-store activity can undermine it. For example, straight after the mid-afternoon ‘rumble’ shoppers can’t tell what products have been selling well.

About Phillip Adcock

My name is Phillip Adcock: I have more than 30 years of human behavioural research and analysis, and have developed a unique ability to identify what it is that makes people psychologically and physiologically 'tick'.

Would you like to know more about how shoppers and consumers think? Download my FREE guide now. Alternatively, check out, where there are more FREE downloads available there. Or why not simply email me with what's on your mind?

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Phillip Adcock
Psychology & Behaviour
Change Consultant

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