The Decoy Effect

Ever wonder why phone makers always come up with three versions of a particular phone series or brand?
The reason behind this marketing strategy is what we refer to as the “decoy effect”.

What is the Decoy Effect?

The decoy effect can be achieved by tricking a person into changing their original preference between two options when a third option is presented as part of the total options open to them. The third option is the “decoy”. In other words, the third option (the decoy) is given a price that makes one of the previous two options appear more attractive to you.
It is also called ‘attraction effect’ or the “asymmetric dominance effect”.

Let’s explain this with an example for better understanding.
Let’s say love drinking a particular soft drink. You derive great value in drinking this soft drink.
One fine evening after a cool work shift, you decide to stop at your favourite place to treat yourself to some wonderful drinks. The shop owner provides you with the below options:

•One bottle of X Drink: 100 Naira.
•Two bottles of X Drink: 150 Naira
•Three bottles of X Drink: 170 Naira.

Once you see this, there is a very high chance that the paltry difference in prices between the 2nd and 3rd options will immediately gets your attention. That is the Decoy Effect in action.
The second X drink option is just the decoy option.

Many companies provide this decoy options to trick customers into comparing the decoy option with the main expensive option (and will most likely select the expensive one).

However, if there were no decoy options in the choice before the customer, he or she will compare between option 1 and 2, and will likely go with a cheaper option.


  1. I don抰 even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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