Fluency ShortcutOpen Access

Fluency Shortcut

Statements that are easier to understand are more believable

Easy-to-repeat messages, such as the 2016 “Build a wall” political slogan feel more familiar and are likely to be spread by others.

Novemsky et al. (2003). Preference fluency and its effects on no-choice, compromise and attraction effects. Association for Consumer Research.

The study

Setup

205 people were shown a description of a digital camera printed in a font that was either easy to read (high fluency) or hard (low fluency).

Results

Results found that when easy to read, only 56% delayed choosing the camera, next to 71% when hard. Why? Fluency breeds familiarity, which we value greatly, because it’s unlikely to be harmful (Zajonc, 1968).

Study graph

Key Takeaways

Keep it short. Whether for marketing, nudges or political persuading, low syllable, easy-to-conceptualize slogans will feel dramatically more intuitive for consumers. Next to a competing message, they’ll believe the one that’s easier to understand (Schooler & Hertwig, 2005).

Takeaway image

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The mere act of repeating your message will increase its familiarity, which itself increases the extent to which it’s seen as true (Reber & Schwarz, 1999). Keep it consistent across your team and put it everywhere.

Takeaway image

Keep product benefits concise. Consumers actually like a product less the more positive traits they bring to mind (Menon & Raghubir, 2003).  This is because they start to associate your product with greater complexity and lower fluency. 

Takeaway image
Takeaway image
Fluency Shortcut

Fluency Shortcut

Statements that are easier to understand are more believable

Easy-to-repeat messages, such as the 2016 “Build a wall” political slogan feel more familiar and are likely to be spread by others.

The study

Setup

205 people were shown a description of a digital camera printed in a font that was either easy to read (high fluency) or hard (low fluency).

Results

Results found that when easy to read, only 56% delayed choosing the camera, next to 71% when hard. Why? Fluency breeds familiarity, which we value greatly, because it’s unlikely to be harmful (Zajonc, 1968).

study graph
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