What Is The Contrast Bias?

In this post you’ll learn the answer for the questions: what is the contrast bias? and how is it used in marketing strategies?


Marketing just like dating is a field in which persuasion is almost everything. Persuasion by itself is nothing more than the ability to paint a picture in an appealing way. In dating the picture is you trying to attract your partner, while on marketing, the picture is about the product being promoted. When well painted, the goal is achieved. The ones seeking for a partner succeed in their efforts and for the ones trying to make the public look at their product with better eyes, finally get to convert the ones who were once prospects into costumers and possibly fans. One way that is often picked to paint the “picture” is through the use of the contrast bias.



What is the contrast bias?

The contrast bias is the tendency for people to misunderstand or perceive things in a different way when they are presented in contrast to something else. The way we look at a potential mate depends on how it stands among other possible mates. If the potential mate is smart, its intelligence is only appealing if everybody or at least most people are less intelligent in comparison. A smart person in a place where everybody is smart is average in the same beautiful woman/man in a place where everybody is beautiful is common.



How is it used in marketing?

In marketing one of the most common applications of the contrast bias is set around the price. Since the price of a product can make it more or less appealing, the way the price is set is a good way of painting an appealing picture to the prospects. You can see this in the famous TV/YouTube ads where the person promoting the product says something on the lines of “I could easily ask $1000 dollars for this product but I’m not doing that. I’m not even asking for $500, nor $200 or even $100. Because I want to help you I’ll only ask for $50”. There exist many variations of the message above but the essence remains the same. An outrageously high price is asked first, so that the final price(the one they have been looking for all along) pales in comparison. The goal is to get the prospect into thinking that they are getting a valuable product for a very cheap price.
This technique is often applied with the famous loss aversion bias where a timer is added, and the offer is limited as a way of making the prospect buy the product in a shorter than usual period of time.


In summary, the contrast bias can be exploited in many different scenarios, but the one thing to take away is that it shouldn’t be used to scam people. Just like black hat SEO in search engine optimization, it might work for a while but sooner or later it is always discovered.





It is all about knowledge and experience;)

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