How Anchoring Methods Can Benefit Your Business
Anchoring techniques can help you with everything from management presentations to customer sales.
Like it or not, we’re emotional beings. In fact, our emotions seep into everything we do, even when we’re trying to make completely rational decisions.1 While this might occasionally be frustrating on a personal level, understanding the power of emotions can significantly help you on a business level.
Whether you’re already in business management or are considering entering management training and starting a management career, you can improve your chances of success by using an emotion-based persuasion technique called anchoring.
What Is Anchoring?
Anchoring takes several forms (see below), but at its core, it’s about using specific stimuli to produce a preferred action. For instance, if you crave ice cream every time you hear an ice cream truck’s song, the ice cream company has successfully anchored your desire to the music.
Anchoring is useful in business because it circumvents rational decision-making. Instead of hoping your product or service is logically the best in every way—or that the opportunity you’re offering your employees or business partners is absolutely perfect—you can use anchoring techniques to lead customers, employees, or business partners to the decision you prefer while making them feel good about that decision.
Anchoring works because our emotions are more powerful than our reason. Ice cream truck businesses don’t pretend to offer the best value or quality. Instead, they play on our memories of sunny days and a carefree childhood. The music triggers those memories and anchors the ice cream to happy feelings, igniting our desire and circumventing rational thinking.
What Are the Different Kinds of Anchors?
This kind of anchor gets people to make decisions because the product/service feels associated with previously enjoyable experiences. The ice cream truck is an example of this. So are slot machines in casinos. Slot machines only make noises for winning, guaranteeing that when you hear a bank of slot machines, you are reminded of those times you won big.
But an experience anchor doesn’t have to be so blatant (or noisy). Corona beer bases its entire advertising campaign on anchoring the taste of Corona to the relaxed feeling most of us experience on the beach. Meanwhile, most business products—from pens to computer operating systems—anchor their products to the experience of success.
Spatial anchors are all about visualization and are particularly useful in presentations. If you want your employees to feel that good customer service matters, you could hold your hand low when talking about the bad (anchoring poor customer service habits to the feeling of being low) and hold it high when talking about the good (anchoring good consumer service choices to the feeling of flying high). Other spatial anchors include asking people to “think outside the box” or “break through barriers” or “escape their cell.”
When people are treated like royalty, they are more likely to spend like royalty. This is called the service anchor, and it’s the technique of anchoring a person’s sense of self-worth to your product or service. If you treat your customer well, they will come to associate owning your product or using your service to the feelings of being wealthy, classy, desirable, etc.
Price anchors are perhaps the most commonly used anchors. It’s the practice of selling your product or service by using a comparison that’s designed to make your business’s preferred choice feel more desirable. For example, telecommunication companies often offer bundled packages that include internet, TV, phone, etc. Notice that they will often “compare” the bundled prices to the prices for each service provided on its own. Instead of comparing that company’s quality and value to that of other companies, you end up comparing bundled prices to unbundled prices within the same company. That makes you feel like you’re getting a great deal, even though you haven’t made a particularly rational analysis.
How Can You Learn More About Anchoring?
If you want to increase your chances of succeeding at your business and in your management career, consider earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA). This highly regarded business degree is like earning an advanced business administration degree and an advanced management degree all in one. It’s a great way to gain the skills—like anchoring—that you’ll need to excel in business.
While enrolling in a top MBA program at the best business schools used to require taking time off from work to attend classes, the advent of online education has made earning a business administration master’s much more achievable. When you earn an MBA online, you can complete the majority of your coursework right from home. Plus, like many online graduate degree programs, an online MBA program can allow you to manage your time so that you can continue working and taking care of other responsibilities.
Through an online MBA program, you can gain the skills and qualifications you need to succeed in modern business.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.