Benjamin Franklin on retention strategies.

Reverse psychology

I recently read about a fascinating piece of reverse psychology. If you do someone a favour you would expect them to like you more, right? But apparently research shows that the reverse is true.

This phenomenon is dubbed the Ben Franklin effect, who quipped:

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

Jecker and his friend Landy verified the science for us back in 1969. See here.

This tactic made me think of successful results for a recent campaign. Could our success be attributed to a bit of reverse psychology?

Last year, one of our clients was facing fierce competition in a few key regions. Instead of reacting to the marketing via desperate buybacks, we decided to try a different approach.

We reached out to disaffected customers and asked a favour, to help us fill in some gaps of knowledge with a research survey. The desired effect was for them to like us more, enough not to switch when approached by a competitor.

After the dust had settled we calculated (versus a control group) that we had reduced the churn for our at risk customers by a whopping 25%!

Which goes to show even new strategies can be found to be informed by the past.

Author: Stuart Hinds, Creative Director – justONE