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Conformity Effect – Influence and Sales Strategies

Conformity Effect - Influence and Sales Strategies

Conformity Effect – Influence and Sales Strategies


The Conformity Effect plays into the fact that we typically like to conform to social norms and not to stand out in a group. We, therefore, have a predisposition to conform to the norms of that group without question.

Conformity helps to bring our organization together and influence them into behaving as one entity working towards a shared goal or objective. For this to happen, businesses need to have rules, regulations and guidelines in place to help regulate and streamline their output standards in order to maintain brand integrity. It could be argued, however, that conformity suppresses creativity and hinders innovation and to some extent it does. 

However, by allowing team members to come to work without having any defined workflow is generally leads to a much less productive workforce. Conformity helps mitigate this issue, but outlining company standards and setting expectations of your employees. This ensures that organizations will have a degree of uniformity which ensures that everyone is working towards shared goals and objectives.

Examples of conformity in practice would be this: Imagine employee A going to work and dressing in the same style as their colleagues in order to fit in, Now imagine a college student smoking just because they don’t want to appear ‘boring’ when all their friends are also smoking or vaping. Conformity is both endearing and an attractive attribute to many people simply because it is easier to fit in and follow what other people are doing, acting, saying or behaving like rather than be more independent-minded.

Whilst most people like to think of themselves as highly unique individuals, in reality, people, much like other animals on our planet are social beings. Generally, for the sake of group cohesion, people are evolutionarily wired to fit in and conform. Generally, this means mimicing or copying other people’s actions and also looking to majority members of the group to ifnluyence how we too, should think, behave or act by adhering to the etiquette of the wider group. 

Conformity comes of course with it’s benefits and is a reason why some many people like to confirm or have a need to. Conformity offers a sense of group identifty, togetherness and belonging thatcan encourage people to adhere to societal normas and standards. It can however, bring out a person’s darker character and even be used to justify and carry out large-scale atrocities. Cults are a perfect example of this. 

Whilst individuals prioritize fitting over standing out to varying degrees, nearly everyone who interacts or is part of modern society conforms to it in some way or another whether they realize it or not. This may come through in their appearance, actions, behaviors, or the social norms that they choose to follow. While some people go out of their way to be “non-conformist,” conformity is a fact of life for the vast majority of humankind and even the very notion of non-conformity is conformist by default. 

One phrase I like to include in any influence approach is “Most people…..” People want to behave and act like most people and therefore influence them to act, say, do or behave like others similar to them too thus we can leverage the power of the conformity effect to our advantage in the sales or negotiation process. 


Duncan shares more influence insights and tactical strategies as well as more about the conformity effect on his Youtube Channel on Youtube.com/duncanstevens – to discover more about the conformity effect or to even hire him to speak about influence, sales, leadership or collaboration at your event you can follow the link below. Duncan is a professional keynote speaker and global authority on influence and persuasion. 

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