Monday, February 25, 2013

Consumer Psychology in Product Development Lifecycle

Understanding Consumer Psychology plays an important role in all stages of product life-cycle.


We need to understand what user perceive and factor that into product design.  Cognitive psychology plays an important role here. If we able to foresee the customer problems and their expectation for our product, we can give a better customer experience.

I my  previous posts, I have talked about the Customer Experience in general.

Small Things  makes Good Impact

Often small things makes a good impact with the users. Some examples below,

 1) A personalized email with a name rather than '' gives a sense of comfort and closeness with the product.

 2) A human face in a web page triggers a positive emotion.

 3) Choosing a color, theme in designing the pages conveys a meaning to the product.

 4) In branding, a tagline plays a vital role and  decides on how customer relates with the product.
Some good taglines: Disney – "The happiest place on earth": Kit-Kat – "Have a break. Have a Kit-Kat.".

 5) Increase in response time by some milliseconds on a crucial page may impact the overall conversions.


We need to persuade the users to buy our product or to sell our services. There are some basic principles of persuasion coined by Robert Cialdini

I have added examples in the context of a web product.

  • Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor,
 Give a free (or) trial version. They return a favor by buying them.

  • Commitment and Consistency - Once people commit to what they think is right, orally or in writing, they are more likely to honor that commitment.

 If  there are constraints like age, location to use a product, we can make the users to declare and accept a form. Majority of them will not violate after this commitment.

  • Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. 

Show what  other people have done with your product. It can be a review or a detailed case study. It gives a sense of confidence and they get involved.

  • Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures.
Tone of FAQ and other important sections of the site can be in a little authoritative tone.

  • Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people whom they like. 

People tend to get interested in a product if it is reviewed or bought by people they like. Social Media can be leveraged here.

  • Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand.
We often see 'Limited time offer' (or) 'Limited items available'. It uses this principle.

I believe this article can be a starting point to think in the perspective of  psychology and consumer behavior