The bandwagon effect is a term coined to refer to the behavior of a consumer following a trend that is created by the need or want of the mass populous. When the public is swayed by a product or service, this creates a ripple effect, which in turn attracts new and unsuspecting potential consumers to desire the product as well.

How the Bandwagon Effect is Used

The bandwagon effect is used to create an illusion of popularity on a product that may have been or is about to be introduced into the market. It feeds on the human emotion of, “if everyone has one, I want one too,” by making a certain product seem desirable by all. If the bandwagon effect is executed effectively, the “illusionary” trend seems accepted by a majority of people and others will join in. For example: A governor running for election receives additional popularity if the polls suggest that he has the strongest support to win the election.

Why the Bandwagon Effect is Utilized

Companies generally intend to sell the maximum number of products to consumers in order to yield the most profits. To capture additional and atypical audiences for a new or improved item, it is very effective to convince the untapped potential consumers that “everyone else” wants the product. This is the bandwagon effect in use. It can increase the popularity of a product or service through persuasion, which is the primary objective of this marketing strategy.


By manipulating the emotions of a target audience, the company may sway its opinion of a product. The bandwagon effect in marketing has several goals: to increase popularity of an item, which in turn yields a higher return on sales volumes, creating a higher demand as the product is consumer at a faster rate. When the bandwagon effect is executed successfully, there is usually a shortage of product as the demand rises. This boosts manufacturing, creating additional employment and profitability opportunities.


When the product or service is in high demand in the market, competitors are usually right around the corner with a comparable product. As a business, it is important to have a quantifiable awareness of production needs and turnaround times for restocking retailers in order to satisfy consumer demands. The company must be quick and reactive, because any slack in production enables time and space for a competitor to steal market share with a comparable product. When utilizing the bandwagon effect, it is vital to be responsive to purchase demands to avoid any potential profit loss. Competitors will push a new or improved version of the item, utilizing their own bandwagon marketing, to replace the preceding product launched. As competitors flood the market with these additional products and services to substitute for those that are now in short supply, this may cause some loss in market share. By a competitor inundating the market with its relative product, it will ultimately drive the prices down, limiting the profit margins. Trends may be altered rapidly though this method of marketing and ultimately lead to one company succeeding more than another simply though the power of persuasion.