The difficulty of getting consumers to change their behavior cannot be underestimated. It is one aspect of human behavior that can lead to outsize profits for companies.

Humans have a tendency to habituate to any unpleasant stimulus, from pain and sorrow to a persistent car alarm.

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The idea is explained in ‘Value Investing’ by Bruce Greenwald et al:

In an open and competitive economy, there are only a limited number of ways in which customer behavior leads to captivity. Habit, usually associated with high frequency purchase, is probably...


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The tendency for people to stay with the status quo has produced the ‘default’ behavior option. Thaler and Sunstein describe this idea in ‘Nudge’.

For lots of reasons, people have a more general tendency to stick with their current situation. This phenomenon... dubbed the ‘status quo bias’, has been demonstrated in numerous situations. Most teachers know...

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