What is the Halo Effect How Does the Halo Effect Apply to Marketing

What is the Halo Effect? How Does the Halo Effect Apply to Marketing?


The halo effect happens when a customer makes a judgment about a person, business, or product which makes a positive impression on them. This causes them to see other characteristics of that person, business, or product in a positive light as well (i.e. the halo), even if they do not know if this is true.

Halo Effect Examples:

Upsells, Downsells, and Cross-sells. Odds are, a company that has sold you one product, has tried to sell you another. And in many cases, you trusted them enough to purchase again. Since the first product was quality, you assumed that the second would be as well. To earn your trust, some vendors will even go so far as to lead with a product they lose money. Then they will upsell you on the second, pricier product. A similar scenario occurs with down-sells and cross-sells. However, a downsell will be less expensive and the cross-sell could be either or. Would you like some fries with that?

Brand Reputation. Corporate brand names go a long way when it comes to consumer choices. Oftentimes, consumers will select a product based on the brand. They will not take the time to properly assess their options. In a sense, the company has won their blind trust. For example, let’s say you are purchasing an MP3 player in the early 2000s. The first product to come to mind would be Apple’s iPod touch. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even bother comparing it to other MP3 players, such as the Microsoft Zune. You would have assumed the iPod is a superior product due to the popularity of the product and brand reputation of Apple.

Design: Have you ever visited a website that was so ugly you immediately hit the back button? Chances are, you have. Poor design, whether it be for a website or a product is an immediate turnoff for a customer. In contrast, we may trust a business website that is well-designed because it signals they know what they are doing. In a sense, we’re judging a book by its cover.

See Also: Affect heuristic, Association fallacy, Attribute substitution, Dunning–Kruger effect, Illusory superiority, Lookism

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