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NeuroTactic Overview

Inaction Inertia Effect

When we decline an opportunity, we have a higher likelihood of doing the same in the future


When we encounter a really great offer from a business, we have the choice to accept or reject it. Both of those decisions set a precedent in our minds which leads to a higher likelihood of making the same decision in the future with subsequent offers. In the case of rejection, however, the effect is stronger.

Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the season for retailers around the US. More often than not, consumers get access to the biggest discounts of the year on this single day. What retailers don’t take into consideration, however, is that the overwhelm of Black Friday offers means customers reject more offers on this day than they normally would. When this happens, those same customers will have a lower likelihood of taking advantage of the same offer in the weeks and months to come. As we reject great offers, we become more resistant to offers for the same product, or even from the same brand, down the road.

Businesses who are offering discounts should consider the timing of their offers and the follow-up to customers who rejected those same offers. Change the offer entirely to sell a different line of products to the people who rejected an offer in the past. And be careful not to inundate customers with special offers too often; it will cause them to de-value your products.

Primary Source:

van Putten, M et al. (2013) How consumers deal with missed discounts: Transaction decoupling, action orientation and inaction inertia

Dream Category:


The DREAM framework, created by Vivid Labs, represents a research-backed framework for effective marketing messages. It stands for Desire, Routing, Emotion, Attention, and Memorability.

AIDA Category:

AIDA is a well-known framework for assembling a marketing message. It stands for the four steps of human decision-making: Attention, Interest, Decision, and Action.

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