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The Brand Persuasion Wheel: Six Principles to enhance the persuasiveness of your brand

The Brand Persuasion Wheel: Six Principles to enhance the persuasiveness of your brand

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Published by SapientNitro
The Brand Persuasion Wheel: Six principles to enhance the persuasiveness of your brand

By Ulli Appelbaum | Director of Brand Strategy, SapientNitro

6 principles of human persuasions:

The model described below captures the six most common principles of human persuasion that can be leveraged by marketers: 1) reward; 2) threat; 3) expertise; 4) liking; and 5) scarcity.

These principles have been extensively researched in the field of psychology and
have often times been successfully demonstrated in the field of marketing. They
are universal and transcend time and geography.
The Brand Persuasion Wheel: Six principles to enhance the persuasiveness of your brand

By Ulli Appelbaum | Director of Brand Strategy, SapientNitro

6 principles of human persuasions:

The model described below captures the six most common principles of human persuasion that can be leveraged by marketers: 1) reward; 2) threat; 3) expertise; 4) liking; and 5) scarcity.

These principles have been extensively researched in the field of psychology and
have often times been successfully demonstrated in the field of marketing. They
are universal and transcend time and geography.

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Published by: SapientNitro on Sep 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/22/2013

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© Sapient Corporation, 2010
POINT OF
 
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Reaching, engaging, and bonding with consumers is becoming increasingly challenging for marketers.On one hand, consumers have become more savvy and critical towards brands, have higher expectations towards marketers, are more empowered and increasingly rely on their peers for their brand decisions.On the other hand, the evolution and increasing complexity of today’s media environment representsnew challenges that force brand builders to venture outside of their creative and media comfort zonesand, in the process, reassess their key success metrics. Traditional media outlets are losing impact while the brand building principles of newer media outlets still need to be discovered and mastered.Causing further disruption, the speed of innovation in technology and its potential applications for brand management make it easy for brand stewards to get distracted from what really matters: people,their attitudes and feelings, and their behaviors.The big challenge many brands face is how to weather the storm and navigate through this ever-evolving and ever-changing environment, while keeping a clear sense of direction and laser-sharpfocus on the business goal.
The business of human persuasion
The model described in this paper suggests one way to do just that. It is based on the premise thatbrand builders and marketers are first and foremost in the business of human persuasion.That is, we marketers build brands by shaping people’s attitudes, beliefs, and feelings towards theproducts, services, and/or causes we market, with the objective to have them act in our favor bypurchasing our brands or joining our cause.
Everything persuades
 Arguably the biggest shift in marketing today is the realization that everything communicates. Theold packaged good principle of identifying one functional benefit and “hammering” it into consumers’minds with as much media power as possible is insufficient if the goal is to truly bond and connect withconsumers.The marketing community is finally moving towards a more consumer appropriate form of brandmanagement. The industry is realizing that every aspect of a brand can – and should- be used to createcompelling brand experiences and create meaningful and long lasting relationships.Because the principles of human persuasion focus on people, they can be leveraged by every singleaspect of brand communication, from a brand’s retail strategy to the way it communicates.
The Brand Persuasion Wheel:
 Six principles to enhance the persuasiveness of your brand 
 
 By Ulli Appelbaum | Director of Brand Strategy, SapientNitro
 
© Sapient Corporation, 2010
POINT OF
 
view
 
6 principles of human persuasions
The model described below captures the six most common principles of human persuasion that can beleveraged by marketers: 1) reward; 2) threat; 3) expertise; 4) liking; and 5) scarcity.These principles have been extensively researched in the field of psychology andhave often times been successfully demonstrated in the field of marketing. Theyare universal and transcend time and geography.While these principles transcend time and geography, their expression can evolve over time and acrosslocations. For example, the source and nature of“Expertise” today is very different than it was 20 years ago. Also, the nature of the threats that mighthave motivated our ancestors, the cavemen, to take action is very different from the threat a middleclass family living in 21st century suburbia faces. The principles however stay the same.
The 6 Principles
1. Reward
The single most important principle is the principle of reward. We are more likely to change our attitudes, beliefs, and behavior if doing so is associated with a reward.The marketing world usually applies the word “benefit” here, but the notion of“reward” is more useful as it places the emphasis on the consumer as opposed tothe product or service the company is selling.Benefits all too often get boiled down to the actual product attribute and performance. Thinking interms of rewards instead forces one to think harder about the added value you want your brand toprovide to its consumers, beyond its purely rational benefit.It also provides brand builders with the opportunity to look at the total brandexperience as a way to reward its consumers, i.e. not only “what” it says butalso “how” it says it at all the points of consumer interaction, and thus enhance the brand’s opportunityto meaningfully connect with consumers.A good question to ask with regard to the reward principle is: does the brand, and its variousexpressions, provide a rewarding experience for the people it wants to engage? While the question maysound simple, answering it frequently isn’t.The reward can obviously be physical, functional, emotional, psychological, experiential, social or acombination thereof.Each aspect of a brand can leverage the reward principle, including its communication asdemonstrated by Office Max’s Holidays “Elf Yourself” campaign. In fact, enabling visitors of www.elfyourself.com to upload their face onto dancing elves and send the little movie to friends and relativesfor the holidays appears to provide enough of a rewarding experience, as demonstrated by the 26million plus visitors of the site.
 
© Sapient Corporation, 2010
POINT OF
 
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2. Threat
The evil twin of the reward principle is the threat principle. We are more likely to change our beliefs,attitudes, and behavior, if not doing so poses a threat to ourselves or those around us.Overt or implicit threats are a powerful way to motivate someone to do something.Threats can often be useful to create relevance for your brand in raising awareness for a problem–real or fictional- your consumers may not have been aware of. For example, thanks to all the soapmanufacturers’ efforts to raise our awareness for the subject, we now can’t buy enough anti-bacterialsoap to protect ourselves and the ones we love from the millions of bacteria and germs that surroundand threaten us.Threat can sometimes be a more powerful motivator than reward.Take Global Warming, for example. Global Warming as a catch phrase has actually a pretty nice ring toit. The term itself actually requires an effort to reconstruct the argument on why Global Warming is athreat to us, an effort many are not willing to make.The sense of urgency to do something to preserve our environment would be heightened, in myopinion, if instead of referring to the issue as “Global Warming” we would refer to it as “GlobalFlooding.” “Global Flooding” implies a threat, a sense of urgency, that we should act soon if we don’t want our feetto get wet. “Global Warming” instead sounds more like an invitation to get your flip flops and your suntan lotion out.Another ecological buzz word that leverages the principle of threat: Acid Rain. The concept that shapeda large part of Europe’s environmental policies in the 80s is more persuasive in my opinion, as itimplies an imminent threat and sounds like we need to act fast. 
3. Expertise
Expertise is another powerful principle that can be leveraged to enhance the persuasiveness of your brand’s communication.According to Wikipedia, an expert “can be, by virtue of training, education, profession, publicationor experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the averageperson, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual’s opinion.” Therecommendation and endorsement of someone we recognize as an expert is more likely going tochange our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.Expert persuasion can take many forms and shapes: Italians are the experts in pasta and wine,Germans are experts in car engineering, technological innovation is often an expression anddemonstration of expertise, people who use the brand or category under extreme conditions (or moreoften than the average consumer) are often seen as experts, and so forth.While the principles of human persuasion are universal and transcend time and geographies, their expressions can change over time. This is the case with the expertise principle as consumers are nowincreasingly turning towards their peers, their friends, and their neighbors for expert advice.

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