This little story perfectly illustrates the principle of persuasion (consistency) that I will discuss in this article. Like the most interesting cognitive biases, consistency derives from different demographic and psychographic structures. People seem to have an almost obsessive desire to be consistent (or appear consistent) with their previous actions.

I have a friend who is passionate about football and a fanatic Barcelona fan. Once, I found him crying slime in the kitchen after his team lost a game. And I asked him the question, which I thought was quite logical: When did the process of fanaticism first begin? My friend stopped crying all of a sudden and said visibly seriously, "I think it all started when I bought myself a Barcelona shirt." This answer made me even more curious: “First you bought a T-shirt, then suddenly you became a fan of this team?” I asked. He nodded nodding me.

Such behavior is essentially based on these three basic reasons.

The first reason is that when you make a choice on an issue, you are faced with personal or social pressure to do what your choice requires. Your mind will be caught up in the wind of this pressure in no time. That way, you never have to think about the problem in question again. Any information that will come after the selection is not enough to change your mind. On the contrary, you will feel much more secure after making your choice. For example, people playing horse racing begin to believe that the horse they play will win after depositing the coupon. A similar situation applies to other games of chance.

The second reason is that we don't know ourselves very well. Sometimes we say or do something without thinking about it. Afterwards, our mind works exactly like this: “This is my third Starbucks coffee I bought in a week. So I really like coffee and Starbucks. Maybe I can't even work properly without this binary. “This is the same as forcing yourself to smile when you're feeling sad. So you reduce your sadness a little bit because your brain gets all the information about your mood from your physiological actions.

The third reason is that we sometimes create our identity by taking into account what others think of us, and we direct our behavior based on these opinions. For example, there has been a significant increase in the amount of donations made to charities by housewives living in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, after they heard that they were referred to as charitable people.

You will understand, this kind of decision-making ease and consistency down to the stubbornness to comply with that decision is an invaluable gift for anyone who wants to influence human behavior for good or bad.

Consistency Marketing Examples
Now let's examine the marketing uses of consistency, which is one of the principles of persuasion.

1- User Comments
Just as in the case of pro-communist writing, positive user reviews are not written out of personal passion for the product (there may be exceptions). People often hope that they can get something for these comments (like a discount). However, after a point, this also loses its importance: As long as their main opinions do not differ significantly from what they wrote, they start to like this product more and more. Even more interesting is that potential customers believe in comments, even though they know that their comments do not reflect a completely honest opinion.

2- Foot-on Door Technique
Salespeople usually start out with a small request, then prefer to play much bigger. This method has proven to be highly effective as long as the large demand is consistent with the small demand.

Charities often use this technique. They ask people to donate a small amount of money first, then ask if you can make that small amount in monthly payments, and finally ask to increase the amount you contribute.

3- Consistency Dependence
Is it what we do without getting tired of knowing what really determines who we are?

Sometimes we have to affect human behavior in the very long term. One of the most likely ways to do this is through consistency. We need to motivate people so that once they do the right thing, their minds will make them believe that they are a person who always does it. - we have to change people's perceptions of self so that consistency will come into play at this point to change future behavior.

Motivation is closely related to self-perception. For example, Cialdini, author of The Psychology of Persuasion, mentions in his book a gas-saving project in Iowa. As part of the project, the researcher conducts phone calls with a number of Iowa residents, where he will first give a series of energy-saving tips to those who heat their homes with natural gas and ask them to save fuel in the future. Every person they meet agrees to evaluate this demand, but at the end of winter, the expected savings are not realized. The combination of knowledge and goodwill unfortunately did not work.

Then the researcher decides to try a different method and takes another sample group of Iowa natural gas users. He also talks with them and gives information on the issue and asks them to save gas. In addition, he announces that the names of residents who agree to save energy will be published in newspaper articles as public, fuel-saving country-friendly citizens. The results are surprising - savings have increased significantly within a month. The same residents are then told that their names will not be announced anywhere - so the root cause affecting savings is eliminated, so what about the behavior, does it change? No! On the contrary, it is seen that the participants save much more fuel for each of the remaining winter months compared to when they thought they would gain public praise. That is, the real change has taken place in these people's minds - they now see themselves as public good, fuel-efficient citizens and behave in line with that belief.

As you can see from the examples, people's effort to be consistent is a factor that makes the lives of marketers easier.

Consistency makes it easy to capture brand loyalty, because people often tend to keep saying "yes" to something once they have said. Consistency is used as a sales technique that has proven functionality almost everywhere today, from door-to-door salespeople to large companies like Apple. Although this principle of persuasion seems to be a useful technique that should be included in strategies without wasting time for a marketer, it is perceived as a situation that needs to be well-known and cautious from the consumer perspective. What is that? Or have you just realized you are accepting something you would never have accepted a week ago? Isn't that because of the consistency addiction?

Remember, you don't have to follow this consistency-always route. It is entirely up to you to determine how much you will be exposed to consistency as a consumer, or how much you will benefit from it as a marketer.

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