🧑‍🔬 How To Drive Purchases With Design

This tactic generated millions of revenue

In 2009 Airbnb was almost went bankrupt.

Despite having lower prices than hotels, people weren’t booking with them.

Everything changed when they hired professional photographers to take photos of owners’ homes, rather than relying on the owners’ photos.

After hiring professionals in New York, the results were immediate:

The company’s monthly revenue doubled.

But today we’re not talking about Airbnb.

We’ll be discussing cookware brand, Our Place.

Because similar to Airbnb, their ads are a masterclass in showcasing how great aesthetics can influence purchase decisions.

They do it with the Aesthetic-Usability Effect.

Here’s what I mean:

🧪 The Aesthetic-Usability Effect

The Aesthetic-Usability Effect refers to users’ tendency to perceive attractive products as more user-friendly. We believe a product will be function better if we perceive it as more attractive than others. A pretty design can even make us more patient with learning curves.

🤳 How Our Place Uses the Aesthetic-Usability Effect

Our Place emphasizes both the beauty and usability of their products in their ads.

This combination makes us naturally feel a liking towards their product.

They don't just sell cookware; they sell design and convenience.

And don’t worry, you can still apply the Aesthetic-Usability Effect even if:

  • You don’t have the most aesthetically-pleasing product, or

  • Are selling a digital product that’s hard to visually show

Here’s how…

🧠 How You Can Use The Aesthetic-Usability Effect

The key to using the Aesthetic-Usability Effect is about bringing out the design aspects of your product.

There are several ways you can do this:

  1. Invest in High-Quality Design:

    • Capture your product with high-resolution images or crisp video content to mirror the Airbnb transformation.

  2. Borrow Design Authority:

    (We discussed how to use the Authority Bias back in February. Click here to read that article.)

    • Link your product to design-centric brands.  Check out this example from Athena Club, borrowing authority from Apple and Dyson:

    • Our Place subtly aligns with Rolex’s luxury, boosting their brand prestige (notice they don’t attribute the quote to anyone. It’s probably just made up by their marketing team.🤔):


  3. Persona Connection:

    • Connect your product to a customer avatar. Our Place targets customer identities, like Interior Designers, to resonate with specific lifestyles:

  1. Handcrafted Appeal:

    • Highlighting the effort, as Our Place does with their handcrafted cookware, can elevate your product's perceived value (even if it’s a digital product, you can say how many hours are put into it. This leverages another cognitive bias called the Input Bias…but let’s save that for another newsletter article 😉):

The Aesthetic-Usability Effect isn't just about the product—it’s about the perception it creates.

Create a great perception through visual storytelling, borrowing authority, and the overall aesthetics and design of your ads.

So, how will you use the Aesthetic-Usability Effect?

How will you create a satisfying perception of your product?

Lemme know how it goes!

Until next time,


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