Published in 1984 by HarperCollins Publishers, Robert Cialdini‘s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion outlines why people say ‘Yes,’ and offers 6 proven techniques that improve your ability to persuade others. (more…)
When we have strong positive emotions about a brand we seek supporting evidence and ignore contradictory facts.
The expanding reach of intellectual property has introduced more and more possibilities for opportunistic litigation: suing to make a buck.
Sample trolls and patent trolls are business models who have developed as a result of this.
We draw conclusions based upon how the information is presented—not the actual information itself.
An ad for cream cheese that states 95% fat free is more likely to convince us than one that says it contains 5% fat.
The facts are identical but it is the positive spin not the concrete evidence that drives the appeal.
Rather than simply stating the facts most advertisers typically embed their message into creative contextual devices that evoke feelings and bypass rational resistance.
This is why advertisers use stories, poems, slogans, songs, jokes, pictures, symbols, characters, roles, and metaphors.
They are particularly ripe marketing tools, because they lead the imagination and evoke the feelings that strike at our heart not our head.
You can be conditioned through advertising to choose logically inferior options.
We can even become conditioned to find great pleasure in things that harm us.
Whether it is ‘two for one’ or ‘free toy inside,’ promotions are such common manipulations that we often forget that we’re being manipulated in the first place.
Playing the price game can come at tremendous cost and can create a significant dilemma for the company.
The short-term gain is fantastic, but the more you do it, the harder it becomes to kick the habit.
Once buyers get used to paying a lower-than-average price for a product or service, it is very hard to get them to pay more.
Lying is different from bullshit.
When you lie, you know what the truth is but you intentionally misrepresent it. In a way bullshit is more insidious because people who bullshit often don’t know what the truth is and don’t care.
They’re out to make a point; they’re out to sell you an idea; and they really don’t care whether what they are saying is true or not.
When companies or organizations do not have a clear sense of why their customers are their customers, they tend to rely on a disproportionate number of manipulations to get what they need. And for good reason.
Manipulation isn’t necessarily pejorative; it’s a very common and fairly benign tactic.
Typical manipulations to influence behavior include:
– Dropping the price
– Running a promotion
– Using fear Peer pressure
– Aspirational messages
– Promising innovation
The conscious mind will leap to conclusions, forming a coherent narrative based upon partial information.
This strong tendency to draw conclusions from incomplete information is a cognitive rule called ‘what you see is all there is.’
Consistency and coherence, not quantity or quality of information, are the keys to forming opinions.
Recognizing the irrationality of our decisions can help us make more informed, sensible choices and save money.
There are only two ways to influence human behavior:
– You can manipulate it
– You can inspire it
Confidence depends on the quality of the story they can tell. So it’s not surprising that one of the hottest new forms of advertising is ‘Branded Content.’
Increasingly advertisers are choosing to spend their investments often in the form of entertaining stories that blur the line between conventional advertising and entertainment.
We might enjoy these new forms of advertising better, but we also may become more influenced by them without ever knowing why.
We are convinced by advertising based on consistency and coherence, not the quality and quantity of information.
The best ad campaigns involve a simple clear emotionally evocative idea repeated over and over again.
Less is in fact more.
We make decisions based upon the memories of our experiences — not the actual experiences.
How we feel about a brand largely depends upon our memory of the experience provided by the brand, not what actually happened.
These are not based on the reality of these experiences but almost entirely on the peak moments and the concluding impression — whether positive or negative—the brand has produced.
Every manipulative tactic can indeed help influence behavior and help a company become quite successful.
But there are trade-offs. Not a single one of them breeds loyalty.
Over the course of time, they cost more and more. The gains are only short-term.
If you have exceptionally deep pockets and are looking to achieve only with no consideration for the long run, then these strategies and tactics are perfect.
One day my manager showed me a horrible graph. It was pretty simple: the graph was steady, then it dropped straight down, then after a short period, the line shot straight back up and stayed level again:
“That’s what happens when we do the right thing”, he said while pointing at the drop, “and that’s how much money we lose. We tried it just to see how bad it was for our bottom line. And this is what the data tells us.”
“Wow,” I said, taken aback. My employer clearly had two options: “do the right thing” or “be profitable”. That was the position they had manuevred themselves into through a series of bad management decisions.
My manager then said, “More than half the company would have to lose their job in order for us to stop these tactics … so are you volunteering to be one of them?”
That was the day I learned I’d rather lose respectfully than win without honor. Once people become wary of your products or your business ethics, it’s game over. You can’t sustain for long, because you won’t keep your customers much longer.
Not to mention your employees.