Continuing the theme of the importance of influence in marketing, this blog highlights the second of Dr Robert Cialdini’s six laws of influence—commitment and consistency.
The six laws—reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity—can be used to craft more persuasive messages and improve the effectiveness of your marketing program.
The law of commitment and consistency is based on the notion that people want to act consistently with their commitments and what they have already done. For instance, if you commit to something, either orally or in writing, you are more likely to honour that commitment down the track in order to be consistent with your earlier decision.
An example of this law used in business is a shop assistant asking a customer to fill in the paperwork or if they would like to put the product on hold for 24 hours, while they think about it.
Commitment and consistency can also be seen in customers “justifying” their purchase decision when pressured or questioned later by others. That’s because once we have purchased something, we may feel the need to defend our choice or justify our earlier decision so we feel more congruent.
Dr Cialdini’s six laws of influence are outlined in Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion.