“We are easily influenced in which few product attributes we use to make a comparison”

Position Targetting

Position Targetting

When choosing between competing products, we find it hard to compare on complex aspects. We even find it hard to use more than a few simple comparison attributes. Therefore we tend base comparisons between competitors on just a couple of easily comparable criteria.

Being presented with a clear and specific set of attributes focuses our attention on these criteria, causing us to base our subsequent choices primarily on these criteria, ignoring other relevant ones.


Scientific research example:

Imagine you’re a student and you have to register for the classes. What would be the best way to choose between the 9 competing courses for the following semester?

  1. Read and think about each piece of information about every course
  2. Read the course descriptions and than think overall why you might want or not want to take every course
  3. Read the course descriptions, but not think about it before choosing

As Wilson & Scooler (1991) proved, it’s best not to think about it. Since consciously thinking draws attention to ‘nonoptimal’ – though easily comparable – criteria.


Online Persuasion tips:

When you have absolutely the best offer in the marketplace:

  • Make sure your prospects learn about every aspect of your product, and than emphasize that they should ‘follow their heart’ when choosing.
But when you don’t (which is mostly the case):
  • Find out which competitors and/or comparison sites your customers visit (pre-purchase)
  • Then find out on which ‘easily comparable attributes’ you win in these comparisons, and promote those easily comparable product attributes
  • Finally emphasize that your prospects should make a deliberate and rational choice (which will make them choose based on the easily comparable attributes)

Further reading on Position Targetting: