November 23, 2017

behavioral economics

Behavioral economics: learning what makes your customers tick


We believe in behavioral economics – and we believe you should, too! After all, the studies within the field of behavioral economics have brought us one very important insight: the consumer rarely makes his decisions on a deliberate base – but rather on an intuitive one. And it’s exactly this what your marketing approach needs to respond to: to the consumer as a human (and not always rational) being, rather than a pragmatic one.

The psychology of the middle offer

Within these behavioral economics, we have to keep the very important term ‘choice architecture’ in mind. This term talks about how different products are placed and presented – and how this placement will help you sell more.

And whilst doing research on choice architecture, it became clear that products on the middle shelve – or products placed in ‘the middle’ of the row – were significantly more attractive to the consumer, meaning they were more likely to be purchased.

This is called the ‘center stage effect’. This effect comes forth out of the general idea that the middle offer is always the most popular one. And of course, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: people think a certain product is popular, so they buy it, so the product does in fact become very popular. Ka-tsjing!

Why is the psychology of the middle offer so important?

Well, when you are aware that the middle offer always has more chance to be chosen by the consumer, you can use this knowledge for your own benefit. All you have to do, is present the product you want to sell as the middle offer.

And you know what? You can use this psychological tactic with already existing products, but you can also use this for launching a new product. Because when you place the new product between two already very popular ones… You can almost be sure the product will end up at your consumer’s house!

What has Haystack to do with it – and how can we help you?

Well, obviously, Haystack is fully aware of the power the ‘center stage effect’ has to offer. And we are not only aware of this phenomenon, but we even dare to say we have excellent expertise about how to use this effect for your gain and benefit – whether it is about online or offline product placement!

We are very experienced in doing research on how the center stage effect can be employed for very different products and moreover: we’d love to teach you how to use it yourself. This way, you can come to us, learn all you need to know – and go home enlightened and ready to center stage rumble!

Three important key takeaways

Let’s wrap this conversation up by providing you with the three most important key takeaways to keep in mind whilst learning all you need to know about the center stage effect.

  1. The center stage effect will help you influence the consumer, so your revenue will pick up. The middle offer (both on- and offline) is always perceived as the most popular one, so it’s this mindset you have to employ whilst setting up your marketing campaign.
  2. Combine the visual trigger with a linguistic one. In other words: don’t stop after placing the product in the middle, but add a verbal trigger such as “Discover our most popular product today!”. The combination of these two triggers work miracles when put together!
  3. Haystack can help you by doing extensive research considering how to employ the center stage effect, specifically applied to your product. We make sure you get the best results possible and we take our time to educate you elaborately considering all we are doing. This way, you know what’s happening – and can try it yourself later on.


Questions about behavioral economics, the center stage effect or something other considering psychological triggers within consumer research? Make sure to contact us: we’re more than happy to answer every single question you have!

Laura