Sep 28, 2018
Today’s behavioral economics podcast is about availability. This
is another foundational episode that ties in to last week’s episode
about scarcity. Similar to the bond between anchoring & adjustment
and relativity, scarcity and availability can often be found
together. There is also a free worksheet available for download
that will help you apply today’s concept in your business.
What do sharks, cows, toilets, buckets, and air fresheners have
in common? They are part of the interesting concept of
availability. Our brains get lazy and decide the likeness of
something happening is based on how easily we can think of an
example of it happening before, or how much we have heard about it.
Listen on to hear how these random things work together, and for
more interesting examples of this concept and how you can apply
them in your business.
- [06:05] Availability is about how easily something comes to our
- [06:38] What comes to mind when I say the word shark?
- [07:32] What comes to mind when I say the word cow?
- [08:05] Even though, most people are afraid of sharks. There is
less than one shark-related death in the US per year, but there are
22 deaths by cow.
- [09:41] We fear sharks more than other things that actually
cause more harm or deaths because of availability.
- [10:18] The only time we hear about sharks are when they are
attacking people. These examples are easy for our brain to
remember, and we assume they happen more often than they do.
- [11:12] Our brains categorize cows as less dangerous. In spite
of the actual statistics.
- [12:07] Daniel Kahneman dedicated chapter 12 of his book to the
concept of availability.
- [13:52] With availability, our brain swaps out questions at
hand with questions that we would be more likely able to answer
- [14:32] With availability it's about how easily examples come
- [15:31] Personal experiences and examples are more available
- [16:16] Our subconscious brains love stories.
- [17:56] Your social media strategies should support what you
are doing in your business. Use social media to gain a following in
other things, not in the platform.
- [18:37] Do you know what movie increased tourism in Norway in
- [19:22] Norway had to cut their tourism budget, because they
were overflowing with visitors.
- [20:49] In 1997, the sales of Mars Bars went up significantly
(even though they did not change their advertising at all). This
was because of the Mars rover. These are examples of how our brains
associate things with each other.
- [21:47] When it comes to availability in your business, you
need to associate your business with things that are going on
- [22:57] In last week's episode, I gave examples of scarce items
that flew off the shelf (from Starbucks, Disney and more). They
were associated with things that were already popular at the time
like the color rose gold.
- [26:10] Currently, a lot of people are talking about Nike and
the Kaepernick Campaign.
- [28:16] In episode 4, I talk about one of my favorite books
called A More Beautiful Question. I reference
combinatorial thinking, which helps you get more ideas by combining
things together that others may not think goes together. Instead of
connecting A and B try to connect A and Z (or better yet, A and
- [29:41] HARO is a website that connects reporters with
potential sources. I reach out and respond with my unique
perspective (sometimes it might seem random, but that is often
better!) and I have been quoted in some articles.
- [32:38] Last week, I promised to revisit the story of how
diamonds became the powerhouse that they are today. Diamonds
actually aren't that rare. Diamond engagement rings didn't become
popular until the 1940s.
- [35:42] De Beers had to create an illusion that diamonds were
- [38:24] Young men had to view diamonds as an expression of
love. They then used movies and magazines to reinforce this
perception about diamonds. They also stressed the size of the
- [40:22] By 1941, the advertising agency was able to increase
the sale of diamonds by 55%. The sale was based on an idea of the
eternal value of a diamond.
- [42:53] De Beers and diamonds is the original availability case
study. They changed the face of the entire world forever.
- [43:23] Diamonds became a piece of our culture without us even
- [44:37] They also did solid research into the mindset of the
consumer and found new ways to get their message out.
- [45:23] Watch conversations and look for the right time to
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