With hundreds of concepts and brain biases to choose from, the idea of incorporating behavioral economics into your strategy can be overwhelming.

However, it's incredibly important because all decisions are guided by these brain rules. Understanding those rules lets you speak to the brain how it actually makes decisions (instead of what you think someone should do). And because I know the subconscious takes over and looks for ways to procrastinate when overwhelmed, a simple guide is a great way to get started!

These five concepts are the ones I direct people to most often, and they can help any business be more profitable and convert leads easier.

Framing: How you say it matters much more than what you say.

You go to the grocery store to buy ground beef. One stack's labeled as "90 percent fat free" and the other is labeled as "10 percent fat." Which do you choose? Ninety percent fat free? So did everyone else.

The reason why is framing. This brain trick shows how easy it is to change the entire conversation without changing the data. Here's another example--which sounds better?

  • 80 percent of customers buy from us again
  • Four out of five customers buy from us again

When marketing a product, describing a service on your website, or even choosing the price of your offering, play with the numbers and words you use to find the best frame for each scenario. It can dramatically improve conversations and conversions.

Anchoring: Don't be afraid of big numbers (even if they're arbitrary).

One study from the Journal of Marketing Research had two end-cap displays. One read "Snickers Bars, Buy Them For Your Freezer" and the other "Snickers Bars, Buy 18 For Your Freezer". As a business, you likely know which one you would feel most comfortable creating. Most people hate throwing out an arbitrary number, especially one like 18 in the context of candy bars.

In this case, the difference was a 38 percent increase in sales when the number 18 was used instead of the word "them." That's because it gives you a high anchor to come down from (instead of starting with "them" which is a fancy way of saying zero). This is the same concept that makes our brains instinctively buy more when things are labeled as 10 for $10 instead of $1 each. Numbers have incredible power and should be used intentionally.

Relativity: Why competition is actually a good thing.

Our brains cannot value one-off items. Context is needed to determine whether something is worth doing or buying. Our brains also convince us that we need to be the only one offering what we offer and if someone else is in the space we are doomed! However, when you're the only one, there is nothing to properly compare you to so the brain can't make a decision.

Comparison among your own products (relativity using those high anchors) or against a competitor will help potential customers feel better about buying from you. Understand how you compare and what the presentation is nudging people toward to ensure it's your best offer.

Scarcity: One of a kind drives perceived value through the roof.

You know this term and understand how it works, so I'll be brief. Just know that limited time offers and limited quantities work. Your customer's brain loves them and will be encouraged to take action when it knows something is scarce compared to something that is plentiful. 

Priming: Planting smart seeds that encourage people to buy.

Everything that comes before the pricing conversation (or page on your website) matters more than the price itself. The words and images you use before getting to the price can make or break a sale because they are preparing the brain for what comes next.

The small things you don't think should matter can have a dramatic impact. For example, holding an iced drink has been shown to make people rate others as more cold and difficult than when they held a hot one. An image of a backpack can make people more cooperative than seeing a briefcase. Using the word "investment" can prime people to expect your offering to be more expensive while "value" could prime them to expect a lower price without even realizing it.

These are all priming your customer--it is important to consider it in advance to make sure you are sending the right message.

Implementing any of these properly can have a drastic impact on your business, and you can start with any or all of them. If one stood out to you and was particularly interesting, then that is a great jumping off point for you. They all impact your business every day whether you think about them or not: isn't it time to make sure they are working in your favor?