Are there any nice examples of firms using attachment bias to increase profits? Examples from the academic literature or well-motivated anecdotes are both acceptable. For instance, pet stores seem to let you play with the animals and GM used to have 24 hour test drives for some of their cars. However, both of these examples are also consistent with a match quality that takes some time to learn, rather than mere attachment bias.


The field of performance marketing makes ample use of attachment bias.

For example, skiers often purchase race-level ski boots and skis which are too stiff relative to their ability, so the product is actually detrimental to performance.
In this case, self-attachment bias causes buyers to overestimate their own ability. The ski manufacturers know this and market and price the stiffness of this equipment at a premium even though it is not objectively helpful for the vast majority of consumers.

In pharmaceuticals, attachment bias to familiar medications like Tylenol cause consumers to pay premiums for this medicine even while knowing that the generics next to it on the shelves contain exactly the same active ingredients and are often made by the same manufacturers. Here, attachment bias to a familiar product causes allows manufacturers to pay a premium, and the manufacturers tune marketing messages to amplify the attachment bias ("Tylenol, what matters most", "Advil, the original round tablet).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.