Consumer Comprehension: The Psychology of Marketing

Walk a mile in your consumers’ shoes.

Knowing your consumers means putting yourself in their positions—learning how they think, why they process what they process and what they want to see.

But walking one mile for consumer after consumer quickly turns a simple stroll into a full-blown marathon. The better you get, the further you grow, the more you have to keep up. All of a sudden, you’re slipping behind the herd of competitors, and truly understanding each consumer seems further and further away.

Enter FORTVISION’s brand-new series: Consumer Comprehension. We’re combining today’s cutting-edge psychology theories with the hottest marketing principles to understand your users. With each theory, we’ll provide a tip for you to help you reconnect with and build relationships with your consumers.

We’ll post a fresh #consumercomp tidbit every Sunday, but here’s a little something to kick it off:

1. The peak-end rule

The Peak-End rule states that people judge their overall experience based on how they felt at the peak and the end of it.

So although details matter when it comes to advertising, your focus should be at the crux and at the end of your content. Put your message at the most intense part of your advertisement and make sure you remind them  at the end. You might be telling your consumers a lot of information, but use the Peak-End Rule to make sure they walk away with the most important part.

2. Putting your foot in the door

When you knock on a consumer’s door, dip your foot in before trying to plow your way inside.

This theory states that people are more likely to comply with a larger request later if you start with a smaller one. Some potential consumers who aren’t ready to commit yet could become big players in your business’ future.

But how?

Start small.

If you think a potential consumer isn’t ready to buy your product just yet, do what you can to get on their radar now. Incentivize them to add you on social media, put down a smaller amount of money or subscribe to your email list. When they’re ready for a more significant commitment or a greater purchase later on, they’ll turn to you because they’ve already started that connection. Your future self will thank you.


Companies don’t just give away samples to make their product more widespread; there’s actual psychology behind it. When people get something for free, they feel more compelled to reciprocate the favor. Just handing out your product might make you feel like you're wasting it, but you'll gain in the long run.

3. Playing hard-to-get

Nobody wants to lose out. Use the psychology behind scarcity to make sure nobody has to.

According to this theory, people place a higher value on objects they perceive as more scarce. If consumers know they are privileged to have your product, it will be more desirable and you’ll generate more sales. There might not be anything appealing about a chocolate bar …… but what if it was the last chocolate bar in the entire world?

Make your products offered for a limited time, in a limited edition or to limited consumers. You might think that all this limiting inhibits the ways consumers can buy your product, but it’s just the opposite—it actually maximize your desirability.

4. The key to similarity

Humans are creatures of habit; we like what’s similar and familiar.

But it’s more than that. People are attracted to ideas, products and concepts that are like themselves. Science shows us that we just can’t help it—sometimes, we’re self-centered. Whether we like this harsh reality or not, as marketers, we like what we can do with it. 

Learn more about how to capitalize on the similarity theory with FORTVISION‘s service!

Get Demo