Bandwagon effect

Theory explained by Oreoluwa Akinnawo

The bandwagon effect refers to the tendency people have to adopt a certain behaviour, style, or attitude simply because everyone else is doing it. The more people that adopt a particular trend, the more likely it becomes that other people will also hop on the bandwagon regardless of whether or not there is evidence to back up the choice. In plain terms, people are more likely to follow the popular choice even if the popular choice is not the best option for them.

A good example of how much pull the Bandwagon Effect has can be easily observed through social media interaction and influencer marketing. With the dawn of social media, we can see how easily influence can be spread and be used to command group thinking.

A recent example is with Lanistar, a ‘’ popular’’ digital banking fintech that launched an awareness campaign for its “polymorphic debit card,” using celebrities and Instagram influencers to drive sign-ups for its product. The gag here is, the fintech is yet to launch its product into the market but has spent money to make it seem like it is the popular choice and it worked. But only for a while. Other examples are:

Fashion: Many people begin wearing a certain style of clothing as they see others adopt the same fashions. This becomes more evident when an individual with a large following adopts a certain style, brands pay to have these individuals wear their products to influence the choice.

Bandwagon Effect Instagram Example


SAAS: As more people begin to convert on your website, it becomes surprisingly easier to use that data to suggest plan options that will be beneficial to you and your subscribers. Using tags such as ‘’ Most Popular’’ and ‘’ People’s Choice’’ on specific product plans can be effective in influencing customers to convert.

Bandwagon Effect Monday Example


Social Networks: As increasing numbers of people start using certain online social networking websites, e.g TikTok, other individuals become more likely to begin using those sites as well. The bandwagon effect can also influence how posts are shared as well as interactions within online groups.

The Bandwagon Effect makes use of Robert Cialdini’s principles of persuasion to drive influence, some of these principles are social proof, liking and authority.

In Which Situations Can One Use Bandwagon To Their Advantage?

Influence - The fear of being left out can be used to one’s advantage because nobody wants to be the only person buying your product. People don’t want to make the wrong choice at the risk of being judged by their spouses, bosses, colleagues, or friends. So they tend to play safe by choosing the more popular option.

Bandwagon Effect Amazon Example

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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini Buy now

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