Home Theories Snob effect

Snob effect

Reviewed by expert Scientifically proven

The snob effect is a cognitive bias in which individuals value a product or service more highly when it is perceived as exclusive or rare. This can lead people to favor goods or experiences that are less practical or objectively desirable, simply because they are more difficult to obtain or are associated with a specific social status. People experiencing the snob effect may use their buying power to differentiate themselves from others or obtain a sense of prestige, rather than considering whether a product or service meets their actual needs or preferences.

Table of contents:
  1. 1. Create Exclusive Products or Services
  2. 2. Use Language That Conveys Exclusivity
  3. 3. Highlight Social Proof From Exclusive Groups
  4. 4. Emphasize Pricing As A Sign Of Exclusivity

The Snob Effect: How Exclusivity Influences User Behavior

In the world of marketing and user experience design, it's no secret that social proof and scarcity can be powerful motivators for people to take action. However, there's another cognitive bias that's less well-known but still equally important: the snob effect.

Also known as Veblen goods, the snob effect is the tendency for people to want something more if it appears exclusive or expensive. This bias is heavily rooted in our desire for social status - as humans, we often want to be seen as part of an elite or exclusive group of people.

So how can we leverage the snob effect in our marketing and UX strategies? Here are a few examples:

1. Create Exclusive Products or Services

One of the most straightforward ways to use the snob effect is to create products or services that are intentionally exclusive or limited in availability. This strategy is often used by luxury brands, but it can work for any type of product or service.

For example, a software company could release a limited edition version of their product with special features that are only available to a select group of users. Or an e-commerce site could offer a VIP membership that provides access to exclusive deals and discounts.

2. Use Language That Conveys Exclusivity

The way you communicate with your audience can also influence whether they perceive your product or service as exclusive. Using language and imagery that conveys exclusivity and prestige can help create a sense of status surrounding your brand.

For example, instead of saying "Join our email list to get updates and offers," you could say "Join our exclusive community of insiders to receive VIP access to special offers and behind-the-scenes content."

3. Highlight Social Proof From Exclusive Groups

If you're trying to market to a specific audience or demographic, highlighting social proof from that group can help create a sense of exclusivity and belonging. This can be especially effective for niche products or services.

For example, a fitness brand could showcase testimonials and success stories from bodybuilders or fitness competitors to appeal to customers who aspire to that level of fitness. Or a beauty brand could highlight reviews and recommendations from makeup artists or beauty bloggers.

4. Emphasize Pricing As A Sign Of Exclusivity

Finally, the snob effect can also be leveraged by emphasizing pricing as a sign of exclusivity. Higher prices can make a product or service seem more luxurious and exclusive, so it's important to consider pricing carefully when creating a marketing or sales strategy.

For example, a restaurant could create an exclusive, prix-fixe menu for a special occasion or holiday, and charge a premium price to create a sense of exclusivity and prestige.

In conclusion, the snob effect can be a powerful tool for marketing and UX design, but it's important to use it ethically and authentically. By creating a sense of exclusivity and prestige around your product or service, you can tap into people's desire for status and social proof to drive user behavior and increase conversions.

A new cognitive bias in your inbox every week

You'll get to learn more about CRO and psychology. You'll be able to take experimenting to a whole new level!

* We send our mails on Monday morning btw.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you use psychology for your experimentation process?

Are you curious about how to apply this bias in experimentation? We've got that information available for you!

Join over 452+ users

  • Lifetime access to all biases
  • Filter on metrics, page type, implementation effort
  • More examples and code for experimentation

Choose your subscription!

Pay with Stripe

Lifetime deal PREMIUM

Get access to the search engine, filter page, and future features.

I want this

Lifetime deal

Get access to the search engine and filter page.

I want this

Do you think you know enough about CRO?

Join our monthly mailing to continue learning more and more about CRO and psychology.