What the Law of Reciprocity Means for Marketing and How You Can Use it to Build a Successful Campaign
As humans it is hardwired into our brains that getting something means giving something in return. Whether it is gifts or favours, our drive to reciprocate is so ingrained sociologists call it the Law of Reciprocity.
Businesses have long tapped into this principle to engage with their customer base and generate revenue. But before we get down to the nuts and bolts of how this principle can be used in marketing, let’s look a little more closely at what is going on with this unwritten social rule.
Say you just moved into your new house. There are boxes everywhere and your new neighbor comes over with a pot of chili and a friendly smile. Two weeks later they ask you to keep an eye on their dog for a couple days while they are gone. What do you say? You could say no, but doing so will likely leave you feeling uncomfortable. That is because social norms, and even the wiring of our brains, tell us favours need to be returned. We want to give something in return for getting something.