12 Sep How to leverage the psychology of being first
From a very young age the importance of being first is drilled into us. First to walk, first in the sack race, first to write your name, first to finish and first to hear about something new. Whilst we may mature into a perspective that first isn’t always best, psychologically the premise of being first never really loses its appeal.
Apple were masters at tapping into and exploiting the psychology of being first. Creating desire that drove people to queue in the street for 48 hours to be the first one to get the latest iPod/Phone/Pad just so they could say they had it (regardless of cost).
What does it say about me?
If you delve into the psychology of being first, you find that people crave it because it forms their identity; part ego, part badge, part externalising values. In his book ‘The Upside of Irrationality’, Professor Dan Ariely, says ‘being first’ behaviour is akin to being charitable only if other people (whose opinions we care about) know about it. The behaviour is driven by the pleasure derived from knowing that other people know.
So when it comes to your own marketing, it follows that you can significantly impact the relationship your customers have with your brand, by sharing your news with them first. Giving your customers a sneak peek into your world, inviting them to help your decision-making, testing a new product with them or giving them exclusive offers, will endear you to them like nothing else. Furthermore, if you understand what they really value and you give the that repeatedly, these customers will not only become loyal, but loyal advocates. And we all know that customer endorsement is the holy grail of marketing.
This communication piece from Telstra exemplifies the point: “There is nothing more important to us than our customers, so before we share the next chapter of our brand story with the world on Sunday night, we wanted to share it with you”. Simple, eloquent and rewarding. Whether you watch the video or not is irrelevant, you heard about it first and before the majority of other people. That has value.
Think about how you could reward your customers first. Treat your database, your website, your app, your stores as sanctuaries to communicate your best news with your best friends. Announcing things on broadcast media is almost insulting to those people who have invested in your business. They deserve better, so give them the pleasure of being first.