How to create value with behavioural science

It’s every marketer’s number one question: how do you enhance the value of your product or service in the minds of your customers? Making your business desirable to your audience, especially up against endless competitors, is a big part of any marketer’s role. And it’s no mean feat! Value is such an abstract concept with so many factors to influence its perception. Luckily behavioural science can go a long way to boost it. 

What is value anyway?

Value is the balance between what you want (your MOTIVATION), and what you’re prepared to give up to get it (your MEANS). At its most fundamental level, this is the need to buy a car to get you from A to B and its cost in monetary terms. 

But there’s also a multitude of other highly subjective factors sitting within either motivation or means that all play in our perception of value. 

These factors might include our perceptions around the quality of the car, the prestige of the brand or the pleasure we imagine we’ll experience from owning it.  Or other factors, like the effort and time we’ll never get back from sifting through different car specs. It all adds up.

So, how can behavioural science help?

Creating value can ultimately be achieved by increasing motivation by upping the reward or by reducing the means by lowering the perceived cost. There are lots of ways you can create value with behavioural science. . Here are just a handful:  

Anchoring – You can make a price seem smaller by presenting it next to a larger number. £50 might seem like a lot but when you know it’s been reduced from £100, it feels like a bargain. 

Decoy effect – When we’re choosing between two different options, adding a third, less attractive option can influence our perception and nudge us towards buying a more expensive item. For example, you’ll pay £4 for a large because it’s only 50p more than medium. There’s a lovely decoy effect example from The Economist that Dan Ariely refers to in his book Predictably Irrational.

Decoy effect and anchoring examples

Social proof – When we aren’t sure what to do we’re prone to follow what the masses are doing – or at least those who we believe are similar to us. If we think others are buying a product it enhances our perception of it and encourages us to do the same. 

Effort heuristic and immediacy bias – By suggesting effort has been put into creating it something can make it seem more valuable to us. We can see this in the freshly baked bread example below – we don’t need to wait for it to cook so it also plays into immediacy bias, we tend to prefer instant rewards over delayed gratification.

Examples of this thinking in action

Comparing favourably against alternatives – Anchoring is a go-to behavioural bias used by Aldi. They enhance value perception through the use of price relativity and a comparative approach

Bypassing the pain for paying – Klarna’s approach reduces the means by playing on immediacy and the power of now by enabling customers to get the product now and paying for it later.

About The Behaviours Agency

We are a creative agency that uses behavioural science to make marketing more effective. We have developed our own unique behavioural model that allows us to create compelling brands, experiences and campaigns that lead to real commercial value for our clients. If you want to hear more about what we do and our behaviour-led approach then please get in touch here.

By Tamsin Scott

Head of Marketing