How is the placebo effect used in marketing and persuasion processes?

Question: Do you think the expensive one is better quality?

Our thoughts shape our reality! Whatever the “reality”, if belief and experience remain consistent, what we buy will meet our expectations. The placebo effect is known as the state of recovery experienced by the patient after taking an ineffective drug.

This is a psychological state. Includes positive reward expectations. We may encounter this effect on many issues. Most of the time, when choosing between two options, we think that the expensive one is better.

It is possible that we will come to this conclusion if we do not know much about the details. An example from the book Influence – Robert Cialdini Imagine a jewelry store. However, turquoise jewelery is not sold at all.

Moreover, their prices are very affordable. The products are put on the showcase. They try a few sales tricks. The store owner wants it to be sold at low prices. The employee misunderstands this instruction.

It increases prices instead of lowering them. And the products are running out in a short time. Cialdini calls this situation stereotype principles. Price alone is perceived as a factor that triggers quality.

Because the customers did not know much about the product, they measured the value by price. This is not always the case but can give us some clues. If you want to sell a very good product below its value, this will also reduce its perceived value. That’s why pricing matters.

There may be a difference between the perceived value and what is actually happening. If you have a good product, you can increase the effect by using this expectation. But post-purchase experience has to live up to expectations.


  • Remember that the expensive can be perceived as better.
  • Make sure your pricing strategy reflects the value of the product.
  • Meet the positive reward expectation after sales.