Grow Your Brand - In Your Space

The Secret To Take Your Brand From 'Good to Great'

You peer through the window of an empty restaurant and quickly conclude the food must be rubbish. The restaurant next door is packed and has a queue of people waiting for a table stretching out the door. 

Must be the tastier of the two. You join the queue.

Psychologists, sociologists and consumer behaviour experts call this powerful dynamic “social proof.” Most consumers don’t call it anything. 

They simply choose to follow the crowd.

Social proof is all around us and we use it all the time to make choices (consciously and unconsciously).


Here’s a powerful example cited in The Choice Factory by Richard Shotton; 

South London’s Canopy brewery ran an experiment to determine the effects of social proof. They placed a small sign on their bar saying that their porter beer was the week’s best-selling beer. The result? Sales doubled. This small sign that cost £1 to make doubled sales and the ‘campaign’ became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The evidence for social proof advertising campaigns is compelling. Its effectiveness is undeniable – so, why is it such a rare tactic? 3 reasons…

Because research respondents say that “other people in no way influence their decision making and that they make decisions independently”. This is absolute nonsense but it is enough to end the thoughts most brands have about running a social proof campaign.

Social proof advertising campaigns aren’t as popular as they should be because the principle is just too simple. A marketer’s professional pride doesn’t want something so simple to be the solution – who needs a professional media advisor if the answer is, well, so obvious.

Brands assume their popularity is known and that it doesn’t need to be shouted about. This assumption is a HUGE mistake. Research shows that if you ask a Briton which is the most popular selling beer in the UK 76% will answer incorrectly  (answer at the bottom of the page).

You might think your brand is the bees-knees, you might very well be the market leader BUT to assume the general public knows this is a big mistake. They NEED to be told.

To Harness The Social Proof Effect you need to state popularity. Here are a couple of popular examples in the UK – “Eight out of ten cat owners said their cats preferred Whiskas”

Even if you’re not the market leader, it is still possible to make a social proof claim – Tunnocks’ biscuits – “5 million of these bars sold weekly”.


Tapping into social proof doesn’t even need facts. All brands need to do is create the illusion of popularity. Example: In 2001 when Apple launched the iPod all their competitors had black headphones. When someone had an MP3 player in their pocket the brand was invisible. In contrast, iPod owners were easily identifiable with their striking white earphones. This distinctiveness made Apple appear to be the market leader long before it was which in turn made the product more desirable.

Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s former Chief Evangelist said, 

“the bottom line is that familiarity breeds commitment, not contempt.”

Business Insider looked back at the company’s history and suggested that “perhaps the company’s greatest innovation was… those all-white earbuds.”

Another Recent Brand Growth Story Using Social Proof In a Completely Different Way

Here’s another subtle yet clever use of social proof in a campaign.

Umar Kamani, founder of online fashion sensation Pretty Little Thing understood the importance of establishing social proof to build his company. Umar invested in branding a 3rd party fleet of 100 vehicles operating across the UK promoting Pretty Little Thing (the trucks had nothing to do with PLT)

Pretty Little Thing truck advertising

Why was this campaign so successful?


The Bain business consultancy researched the importance of being front-of-mind for consumer brands and concluded;

“Our work with consumer goods companies around the world has determined that winners do the best job of anchoring a brand in consumers’ long-term memories, broadcasting the brand’s messages widely enough to the largest possible swath of consumers. Because individuals can remember only a limited number of brand names and retain only a few messages, staying top of mind takes consistency, persistence and repetition. Given the scalability of traditional media and digital media’s limitations for consumer recall, big brands get a better return on their investment in traditional media when it comes to refreshing existing memories.”

This insight shows the importance of more traditional media channels. It’s our belief that whilst digital may be great from certain communication challenges building brand is not one of them.

The Results & Reactions

You too can jump on the bandwagon using truck media. Together we will build your brand and build credibility of your products.  

Get in touch with us using the form below, email us or call 00 44 (0)203 191 6200

Let us be your secret weapon. 

In Your Space

And in case you were still wondering, Carling lager sells the most in pubs and Stella Artois sells the most across all channels according to CGA, August 2018.

Speak With A Strategist Now!

COPYRIGHT InYourSpace™ UK 2019.