Blog


  • What is the definition of consumer behavior?

    What is the definition of consumer behavior?

    Consumer behavior is human behavior. That’s it. Often, I think we get too caught up in marketing with definitions, terms, and abstract references to “target market” or “consumers” or “customers” or “personas”. Those terms are important but, at the end of the day, all of those are people. Consumer behavior is why, and how, human […]

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  • What’s In A Name? Stadium Section Names and Perceptions

    What’s In A Name? Stadium Section Names and Perceptions

    I flew out to Arizona last week to watch some spring training baseball. Since I was thinking about baseball and tickets, I wanted to explore the naming of sections within a stadium. In my experience, the naming of sections is not as calculated at it might appear (or should be). In other words, come up with a name for a […]

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  • On Time Versus Late: The Effect of Framing on Subway Delays

    On Time Versus Late: The Effect of Framing on Subway Delays

    After reading this post on Gawker about New York City subway delays, I was intrigued by how the information was (or could be) framed. The article mentions that 78.8% of New York City subway trains were on time in 2014. Mathematically, that suggests (as the article mentions as well) subway trains are late 21.2% of the […]

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  • Framing and Issues With Nutrition Labels

    Framing and Issues With Nutrition Labels

    All of my #1QFriday questions thus far have focused on a numerical response. How few miles is it from Eugene, OR to Philadelphia, PA? What percentage of 40-yard field goals does the average college kicker make? All of them required some sort of numerical estimate. This week’s question switched to choice. Specifically, the task was […]

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  • Anchoring and The Effect of Survey Answer Format

    Anchoring and The Effect of Survey Answer Format

    A lot of the consumer behavior effects I have demonstrated thus far in my #1QFriday series have been on the question side of things. For example, “How many miles…” versus “How few miles” is a markedness effect built into the actual question. This week’s survey looks at the answer side of things: What do you […]

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  • How Few Miles? Markedness and Distance

    How Few Miles? Markedness and Distance

    Markedness. Kind of a funny word. I barely knew how to pronounce it when I first saw it. But it has a serious influence on numerical perceptions. I have said on multiple occasions that words matter. A lot. This week’s question continues to explore that idea: How many miles do you think it is from Philadelphia, […]

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  • Precision and Conversational Norms

    Precision and Conversational Norms

    Last week, I asked about differences in perception between a 39-yard, 40-yard and 41-yard field goal. The primary goal was exploring how people perceive various distances and differences between those distances. In other words, we might have some rough understanding of how hard a “40ish-yard field goal” is and thus lump in 39 yard and 41 yard […]

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  • (Potential) Power of Round Numbers

    (Potential) Power of Round Numbers

    The majority of my research interests involve the relationship between words and numbers. How do words influence our (numerical) assessment of a situation? Last week, I asked what you expected a player’s shooting percentage to be when a player’s shooting was referred to as “good” vs. “not bad”. On that note, I was in New York City […]

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  • The Psychology of Not: Good Versus Not Bad

    The Psychology of Not: Good Versus Not Bad

    Words are extremely powerful. One word can be extremely powerful. We tend to throw out words without always thinking about how they are perceived. It can be interesting though to take a step back and think about what we are really trying to say and how people interpret the words we use. That leads us to last Friday’s […]

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  • Why do prices end in .99?

    Why do prices end in .99?

    Many of the questions people ask me are about pricing. One of the most popular questions is why do prices end in .99? It seems like everything from coffee to televisions and shoes to computers end with .99. So why do marketers do this?

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  • Psychology of Anchoring and Influence On Behaviors

    Psychology of Anchoring and Influence On Behaviors

    What is the length of the Mississippi River? Sounds like a fairly straight forward question but a concept known as anchoring (or magnitude priming) makes people respond to that question in unexpected ways. Anchoring is psychology theory that suggests when people see a number, they are biased toward that initial number. What does that mean? […]

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  • 1 Year Versus 52 Weeks: Consumer Behavior and Choice of Units

    1 Year Versus 52 Weeks: Consumer Behavior and Choice of Units

    Does your business offer a warranty of 1 year, 12 months, or 365 days? Is your product expected to be delivered in 21 days or 3 weeks? Trick question, huh? It’s actually not. While the units are mathematically equivalent, academic research in consumer behavior suggests they are perceived differently by consumers. Imagine you’re discussing a […]

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  • Limit of 4 or Limit of 8? How anchoring affects the things we buy.

    Limit of 4 or Limit of 8? How anchoring affects the things we buy.

    Consider the following scenario: You go to the store to buy soup. You notice that cans of soup are marked down from $.89 to $.79. Below the price is fine print that says “Limit of 4.”. You make your choice and head to the register. Now the question is…does the purchase quantity limit (ex. limit […]

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  • What is Consumer Behavior?

    When discussing marketing and my interest in consumer behavior, I am often asked “What is consumer behavior?”. I typically respond with something like “consumer behavior is the study of how consumers behave, why they behave in certain ways, and how they respond differently in various situations”. Consumer behavior (also known as consumer psychology) is a […]

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  • 3 Sports Business Lessons From NASA’s Curiosity Broadcast

    3 Sports Business Lessons From NASA’s Curiosity Broadcast

    Tuning in to the NASA live broadcast of the Curiosity mission was both a lesson in space exploration as well as marketing and business for a few reasons: 1. Simplicity I connected to the NASA live stream based on a link going around Twitter and immediately saw the broadcast. No apps. No clicking to authorize […]

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  • College Athletics By The Numbers: A Deeper Look at Profitability

    A recent NCAA report stated that only 14 of the 120 athletic programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision made money. The Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) includes all BCS conferences (PAC 10, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, etc) so odds are your favorite athletic program is losing money. 12% of college athletic programs are profitable. Which […]

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  • NBA Draft and Effects on Playing Time

    I recently came across a study on the NBA and effects on playing time. The study conducted by Berkeley professors Barry Staw and Ha Hoang, analyzed playing time in the 1980’s over a five year span following the NBA draft. Professor Staw analyzed factors including on court performance, trades, injuries and draft position. What did […]

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  • MLB Innings Pitched By Height

    A while back Adam Foster of Project Prospect sent out a tweet wondering how height impacts success and longevity as a pitcher. Adam is focused on minor league baseball prospects and thus was curious how height impacts a pitchers chances of “making it” and how long they last in the major leagues. My first instinct […]

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  • Baseball Player Height and Weight By Year

    My last two posts have been about the average height and average weight of MLB players.  While I will be looking at performance relative to height and weight as well, I wanted to make a quick post to show height and weight over time.  Have players gotten taller on average since 1960?  Do players weigh […]

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  • Baseball Player Weight By Position

    Following up on my post from yesterday regarding average height of baseball players, I wanted to look at the average weight.  I posed the question through my Twitter account, and heard back with pitcher, catcher, first base, designated hitter, and third base.  Again, I looked at all MLB players since 1960 who played at least […]

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  • Baseball Player Height By Position

    I was at a spring training game a few days ago and had an interesting conversation with my dad regarding average height of position players.  We guessed that middle infielders (shortstop and second basemen) are the shortest players on the field.  Being a numbers guy though I wanted to know for sure.  I looked at […]

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  • Have you registered your personal name as a domain name?

    I recently had a conversation with a sports executive (whose name is easily recognizable), and was surprised to learn he hadn’t registered his own name as a domain name.  In its simplest form, a domain is a web address like sportsologist.com, or espn.com.  Whether you are an executive in a sports organization, entry level worker […]

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  • Information Sharing To Influence Sports Fans

    In my last post, I talked about the effect of simplicity on sales conversions.  There are many simple changes, such as altering site design, to yield significant improvements.  With that in mind, I’d like to propose another simple idea, that is supported by one of my favorite books, in addition to many social websites: PEOPLE […]

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  • Simplicity in Sports Business

    Based on hours of research I’ve done from books (Yes!, Made To Stick, etc) to videos (Kevin Rose, etc) to websites (abtests.com, etc), a simple conclusion can be drawn: simple sells.  What is simple?  How does that translate to sports? Let’s look at ticket sales and website design to further examine this idea.  One of […]

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  • Birth Month Effect On Baseball Performance, Part II

    In our first post, we showed the percentage of players in Major League Baseball based on birth month.  As I showed, there is a much higher percentage of players born in August, largely due to the Little League Baseball cutoff date of July 31. In order for players to reach the majors, they had to […]

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  • Birth Month Effect On Baseball Players, Part I

    The birth month phenomena is an interesting occurrence that is applicable throughout society.  While Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell implied the same was true for baseball, I wanted to take a closer look.  Looking at the birth month of every MLB player that has appeared in a game since 1965, the graph suggests that you’re most […]

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