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Psychology of numbers: how to effectively use it in your marketing

psychology of numbers in marketing

Numbers. They’re all around us. The building blocks of calculation are used in several different ways, whether in their numerical form or symbolized by a number of specific objects. Like colors, numbers have their own meaning to them. We gravitate to some and shy away from others. However, knowing the psychology of numbers will help you to apply them effectively on your website and in your marketing strategies as you develop and grow your brand.

Below, you can find some of the common numbers in marketing and an explanation of how people tend to perceive them. However, since the meanings behind numbers are influenced by numerous factors, it’s best to research your target market before implementing them.

Numbers in marketing

the psychology of the number one in marketing

One, Uno, Eins

The number 1 is often associated with the beginning. It has many associations with being the number of the divine, and aptly so; the divine being the creators of everything. The number 1 also resembles high achievement. Winners of a contest or race come in first place, and if you weren’t number one, then you were the first loser. One is also considered to be a number that represents strength and independence. It may be the loneliest, but it does just fine.

One Medical Group, Leeds-based primary care provider, is a fine example of this. Not only does using this number convey an “above the rest” feel to the company name, but it also reads as if they put their customers first.

the psychology of even and odd numbers

Even and odd numbers

Odd and even numbers have different psychological associations:

  • Odd numbers are often associated with creativity, individuality and uniqueness. They are also seen as being more memorable and attention-grabbing than even numbers. This is why odd numbers are often used in marketing and advertising, as they can help to make a product or service stand out from the competition.

  • Even numbers, on the other hand, are usually linked to stability, balance and security. They are seen as being more predictable and reliable than odd numbers. This is why even numbers are often used in contexts where order and predictability are important, such as in mathematics and finance.

But the psychological effect of odd and even numbers doesn’t end there. When deciding on pricing, odd and even numbers can make a bigger difference than you might imagine. In fact, this phenomenon is so well-known that it has a name: odd-even pricing.

When a product is priced with an odd number, it can subconsciously signal to consumers that it is a special offer or a good deal. For example, a dress that is priced at $19.99 is more likely to be perceived as a sale item than a dress that is priced at $20.

In contrast, even numbers are often associated with quality and luxury in the psychology of selling. When a product is priced with an even number, it can subconsciously signal to consumers that it is a high-quality item. Imagine two cars, one priced at $35,000 and the other priced at $34,999. Which one are you more likely to think is the luxury car? This is the importance of the right price ending.

the psychology of seven in marketing

7: A hands-down favorite

Our love for the number seven is a profound one. From religious connections dating back to classical Greece to being the ultimate “lucky” number, 7 is a number that most people seem to gravitate towards. Some of the numbers mentioned below are bound to cultural beliefs and superstitions, but seven safely seems to be a worldwide favorite. The number could be our favorite due to its constant presence in our world and religion. Here are just a few:

Earth: Seven colors in the rainbow, seven continents, seven wonders of the world.

Religion: Seven deadly sins, the union of the physical (number 4) with the spiritual.

From a marketing perspective, the number 7 is a people pleaser that should be easy to implement.

the psychology of ten

10: the most practical

The number 10 is officially the end of the journey. It’s the first number that uses a combination of preceding numbers for it to form. It offers a sense of completion or full-circle effect, but it may only be useful in specific instances. 10 is seen as a rational, ordered number. If 10 was a color, it would most likely be blue to signify its dependability and trustworthiness. It’s straightforward and to the point, which doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Its cut and dry nature isn’t terribly inspiring, so it may not be the most engaging set of digits to use.

One of the best implementations of the number can be seen in lists. From the click-bait articles you see online: “Top 10 life hacks you HAVE to try right now!” to the never-ending top ten list videos on YouTube. The number allows you to set your expectations, as 10 is “just enough.”

eleven and the psychology of numbers in marketing

11 & the extra 1

If 10 is the number of completion, then 11 offsets it, almost completely. The number 11 goes “beyond” completion and beyond what we can count on our own hands, so it’s not terribly surprising to find that it is associated with mystery. Eleven isn’t just an odd number, it’s actually a rather odd number. It stands out and just isn’t practical. For some, this could be exactly what is needed. The unconventional, “out there,” and out-of-the-box type brands may find the number suitable to stand out from the crowd and exude allure.

The offsetting, extra 1 isn’t limited to the number eleven and its “stand out” vibe. Adding the extra digit to an otherwise clean-looking number can achieve the same effect.

Take Levi’s 501 Jeans, for example. Adding the extra one helps the brand of jeans to stand out, allowing to it become more memorable instead of easily dismissible.  

psychology of thirteen in marketing

13 and “unlucky” numbers

The superstition that the number 13 is unlucky resonates in many places in the world and in marketing trends, and it still rings true today. Hotels and some apartment buildings still ignore the 13th floor, skipping straight to 14. So, how could one implement this into their own marketing to produce a positive effect? Well, for starters, carefully.

If you want to add an edgy element or give off an alternative feel, 13 may be the number for you. Think of a tattoo shop or bar named “Lucky 13.” The type of business has a distinct vibe unto itself, so the use of the number is suitable. On the other hand, if your business is a flower shop, it may not be the best number to use.

Regardless of your personal opinion on superstition, you’ll need to make sure to research your audience and market to make sure that you know the full story behind any number you want to implement, especially if it will be in the name of your business.

As you probably know, 13 is widely considered to be an unlucky number in Western cultures, so you might need to make some adjustments in order to properly reach your market if you go this route.

Likewise, number 4 is considered unlucky in many Asian cultures, as its pronunciation is similar to that of the word for "death". For example, in Mandarin Chinese, the number 4 is pronounced "sì", which sounds similar to the word "shi", which means "death".

As a result, many people in these cultures avoid using this number in any context where it could be seen as bad luck. This includes floor numbers, room numbers, phone numbers, and license plate numbers. If this is your target market, make sure you stay far away from any mention of the number 4.

Psychology of numbers FAQ

What numbers are best to use in marketing?

There are a few numbers that are commonly used in marketing because they’re considered to be more effective than others. The numbers 1 and 7 are particularly good at conveying positive marketing messages. The number 1 represents high achievement, strength and independence; the number 7 seems to be a worldwide favorite, possibly due to its constant presence in our world and major religions.

Of course, not all numbers are created equal. The effectiveness of a number in marketing will depend on the specific product or service being advertised, the target audience, and the overall marketing strategy. However, the numbers listed above are a good starting point for any marketer looking to use numbers to their advantage.

What are some tips for using numbers in marketing?

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