Products that tap consumer psychology - Triggers & Trump with Dr. Syagnik Banerjee


Dan Ariely in his book, Predictably Irrational, starts off with this example. If you were to choose one of The Economist’s subscription plans, which would you choose? 1) Digital only for $59, 2) Print only for $125 or 3) Print + Digital for $125?

Image result for predictably irration economist example

Most people go for the third option, even if they came in to buy just the Digital subscription! Such examples, where product managers utilise consumer psychology to push/pull the consumer abound the world of technology. This particular strategy is called ‘Decoy Pricing’ and we do it on the Turnaround newsletter too (I’m talking to all you folks who pay $5 every month instead of $30 for the year!)

On the Use Case podcast today, we have Dr. Syagnik Banerjee who is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan-Flint. The conversation begins by introducing the rational/irrational behaviours that exist in the market, how they are integrated in both digital and physical products around us followed by a discussion of how Trump’s marketing team used consumer psychology to tap into the voters’ minds. Would it be unethical to take a cue from him? Yes. But, we will discuss it nevertheless because it’s important to be aware.

You could find the show on your favourite podcast apps, including 👂Apple/Google podcasts and 👂Spotify or on the audio file above. Check out the timestamps below:


  • 00:30- What is common between Al Pacino as a drug lord and Big-tech CEOs? Fair/Unfair?

  • 04:12- The internet as an imperfect marketplace- more information but ever less accessible

  • 09:05- Honey are you pregnant?🔥

  • 12:15- Marketing is now about looking at associations rather than establishing causality

  • 13:50- Prediction prediction everywhere, not a drop to choose

  • 16:40- Discussing Donald Trump’s campaign- setting the context

  • 21:00- 🔥On the basis of 68 likes can predict your skin colour & political affiliation!

  • 26:00- Hard to get noticed, unless a radical idea is presented?

  • 30:11- How Trump used the Democratic internet users against them, for his own marketing (tapping into people’s consumer psychology!)🔥

  • 37:30- Privacy in product marketing - is it a straight line?

Hope you enjoy listening to this! If you’re listening to the show on the Apple podcast app, please give us a rating and a review - it really helps the show attract more like minded people and I’d be grateful. 🙏🙏🙏