The Halo Effect and 7 Other Biases You Need To Understand

These are guaranteed to help your sales and marketing

Nick Nolan
4 min readMay 28


Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Psychologists have identified numerous cognitive biases that subtly nudge our decisions in one direction or another, often without us even realizing it.

These biases play a significant role in shaping our everyday decisions — especially when it comes to our buying decisions.

The key to successful marketing is understanding how your audience is thinking. If you can understand that and learn to leverage these biases that we all have, you will win people over.

The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect is when we see one positive attribute and assume there are others.

When we see a physically attractive person or thing, we assume it’s good even without knowing anything about it actual quality.

When a celebrity endorses a product, we assume it’s high quality without actually knowing anything about the product. People judge books by the cover, so there’s some benefits of having a good “book cover” for your business.

Here on Medium, the Halo Effect means people will make assumptions about your writing based on your profile picture and featured image, before ever reading a word you’ve written.

The Bandwagon Effect

Why do you think people throw a “Bestseller” label, or “Voted Best xyz” on everything?

People have followed crowds for 1,000s of years and will continue following the crowd. When we see lots of people doing something or buying something, we want to jump on the wagon with them.

If they’re doing that it must be good! Even if we’re not sure where that wagon is going, or if it’ll be an enjoyable ride for us.

The Mere Exposure Effect

The Mere Exposure Effect is when we like and trust something simply because we see it a lot. We want to buy the product because it’s familiar.

Imagine you drive past Joe’s Coffee Shop on your way to work every day.

Even before you’ve tried Joe’s Coffee, or talked to anyone who’s been to Joe’s, you’ve…



Nick Nolan

Freelance marketing consultant | Writing about Copywriting, SEO, and Social Media