A bestselling author and organizational expert, Ori Brafman laid out a plan for the audio industry to better influence consumers in a lively and interactive keynote that kicked off APAC at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

With irrational customer decision-making holding back increased audio revenues, Brafman--the author of Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior--suggested several guidelines to help the industry change the way people view audiobooks.

When it comes to making decisions, “the higher the consequences, the more irrational the behavior. When we can't possibly [weigh] all the different factors, we start simplifying,” Brafman said. And this leads to poor decision-making.

To counter irrational decision-making, Brafman suggested, “Set the value of products [i.e., price] to manage initial consumer reception, and then attempt to gain small initial commitments from customers that could be later parlayed into larger commitments.”

Brafman also urged taking advantage of consumers' aversion to losing out on a product. “We feel the pull of a loss much more intensely than we feel the pleasure of a gain,” Brafman said, calling the pairing of loss aversion and small commitments a “very powerful combination.”

Brafman--who joked that he was jealous and resentful of the audience because he had not been allowed to narrate his own audiobooks--suggested that consumers often fail to understand the audiobook production process, which leads to misconceptions about unfair pricing. He stressed that maintaining consumers' perceptions of fairness was important.

Finally, Brafman insisted that the audio industry create and maintain strong bonds with customers, while also controlling perception.

“Setting the context is the most important thing that anybody can do in an industry or in an organization,” Brafman said. “You don't have to change the message, you don't have to change the content. What you can change is how you deliver it.”

Putting that change in context, he said, can make all the difference.