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The social proof of which pint is best – Behavioural Economics in action

Having listened intently to fellow ThinkTank speaker, Chris Wilson from Earnest, talk so eloquently about Behavioural Economics (BE) and its part to play in modern marketing, I’ve since been preoccupied with what that means when it comes to everyday life and how better understanding how humans think and make decisions can have a huge impact on our marketing.

The collective view at Cyance is that really well-written content is at the heart of this – making sure that your messaging is playing to the right parts of the human brain – and not only builds confidence and resonates with your audience, but is easy for them to understand and to respond to.

But just yesterday I found an example of how an element of BE, ‘social proof’, could be used by me in a very relevant and timely way; in helping me order a beer!

I’m currently in Helsinki with work for a few days, and last night I visited Stones, a burger and steak joint in central Helsinki. On arrival I was greeted by an array of draught beers and lagers. Having never heard of the vast majority, I was plundered into panic mode: which beer to choose. An important decision that we fear getting wrong – what if order the wrong beer? What will it say about me to others? To the barman?

But on glancing to the end of the bar I spotted the below – a real-time data feed showing which beers are being bought by other customers right now.

Not only did this help inform my decision, it played to that social proof principle – that we feel reassured and safer making a decision if we know what others have chosen. Such a simple yet effective way of helping patrons choose well, or at least feel like they are choosing well, by allowing the wisdom of the crowd to prevail.

Now if only they would add a second axis that suggested when to stop, my slightly fuzzy head and severely dented wallet would be all the better for it.

That would then be "beerhavioural economics"...