If you’ve shopped online for an airline ticket recently, you’ve likely seen fares with a “four left at this price” message below them. Or, as the nice man in the Trivago ads points out, “Hotels call out there’s ‘only three left at this price’ to make you think time’s running out on a particular rate,” with the tacit subtext that you’d better act now. There’s even the stereotype of the car salesperson who’s quick to inform you the price of the Maserati you’re eyeing is “good for today only.”
The late, great Johnny Carson once described the shortest period of time that can be measured as the time from when the traffic light turns green, to when the guy behind you beeps. Today, though, Johnny might amend that to the time from when a pop-up ad appears on your device to when you click on the little “X” in the corner.
If you think about this for a second, I’m sure you’ll agree you are more likely to respond favorably to a thought, comment, idea, recommendation or other information that comes from someone you like, respect, want to be like and/or admire.
The same can be said for brands. Dr. Robert B. Cialdini makes this point when he identifies “Liking” – the fifth of six principles of persuasion he outlines in his 1984 work, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.*
Reams of research show consumers are skeptical of brands for a host of reasons. It’s your (and every marketer’s) job to find a way to counter this by making your brand something people relate to on a personal level. Can you make what the brand represents something that’s viewed in as positive light as possible. Is is possible to have the brand be thought of as something that supports a consumer’s point of view and something that, well, the consumer feels is their friend. How can you achieve this? Dr. Cialdini has a few ideas. . . .