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You might not know it but you have probably already experienced cognitive dissonance multiple times today. Buying coffee. Watching an ad on TV or online. Passing a billboard on the way to work. Whether you are aware of it or not, your actions may have been motivated, guided and rewarded by brands with offer structures crafted to modulate cognitive dissonance (up and down). When done correctly, an offer that leverages cognitive dissonance will deliver a desired behavior for the brand. This desired behavior is usually the purchase of a brand’s product or service, coupled with the post-purchase satisfaction necessary to engender a deeper sense of loyalty towards the host brand.
Regardless of the transactional environment, industry or brand, you are presented with offers that are purposefully positioned to turn up or down the volume on your cognitive dissonance in an effort to secure your business and resultant loyalty. Good brands leverage that “voice” (or in some cases voices!) in your head during a purchase to initiate an internal debate on the pros and cons of an offer and the behavior needed to sublimate that noise. For brand marketers, the desired behavior output is two-fold:
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