KHWS Blog: The reassuring lure of a queue - consumers crave social proof

The reassuring lure of a queue: why consumers crave social proof and value scarcity

Behavioural Insight

In a world where 11% of the global internet population uses adblockers, many are left wondering how to get noticed.

For some, old habits die hard. This year we’ve seen Estrella & Campari backing the ‘big budget Hollywood star’ approach, hoping to bypass the adblock issue by creating content that consumers actually want to see. Spending big to attract customers is a mainstay of the alcohol industry, but it needn’t be adopted elsewhere.

Unsurprisingly, things are done a little differently in the fin-tech sector. One brand in particular has shown that sometimes the best way to get noticed is to simply limit supply.

Monzo Card

Monzo will be remembered for breaking into the hearts and wallets of the elite early adopters by limiting the supply of their product, keeping a proverbial queue outside the door since the launch of their pre-paid card in 2015, and their bank account in July 2017. The scarce availability of ‘golden tickets’ mean that queue-jumping is possible, but the majority wait to become customers, enticed by the waiting period (after all, good things come to those who wait…). Along the purchase journey, at KHWS we refer to this tactic as the ‘less means more’ Sales Trigger whereby brands reinforce a premium positioning by limiting supply.

Once in the Monzo club, members are greeted with surprising contrasts to regular banking; an app that boasts industry leading design and UX; a community hub that influences real change; a philosophy of simplicity and honesty (noted by the earnest emails from CEO to customer). After waiting to gain access, these subtle upgrades are well received by customers who flock to the Monzo forum to give feedback and request feature updates. This is a great example of another Sales Trigger that we call ‘social proof’ as people look to peers when making decisions.

As Monzo’s full banking license positions them alongside global leaders, brands seeking acquisition should take heed of their approach. By limiting supply and making your customers feel the security of social proof, you create a club that people want to be in. And let’s face it, that neon orange card is pretty alluring.