Monday, May 11, 2020

Converge on Consensus Words with Weak Ties

Recommendations your shoppers receive from family and close friends are more persuasive than those received from new acquaintances. But you’d like to encourage your customers to tell their newly found acquaintances and friends of friends about the benefits of what you’re marketing. Researchers at American University and University of Massachusetts find that a particular twist of phrasing which they call “consensus language” works well with word-of-mouth among these weak connections. It fits online recommendations to be read by strangers more than it does face-to-face recommendations to people the customer knows well.
     Consensus language includes phrases such as “everyone likes that store” and “the entire community supports this charity.” The researchers find this does better with distant than with close links because the “everybody” seems to the recommendation recipient to be representing a larger group. “When I think of a larger group making the recommendation, I’ll figure there’s a higher probability at least one of those group members has the same pattern of preferences I do.”
     Another explanation, coming from other consumer behavior labs, is that the extreme language of “everybody” feels less phony when tempered by the psychological distance of a weak tie. Shoppers are on the alert for puffery—lavish, exaggerated claims.
     At the same time, as a recipient of the recommendation, I can be less concerned about the struggle between conformity and independence if the comparison group is a bunch of people I don’t know well. We want to belong. Research from San Francisco State University indicates that in store settings, this influences whether shoppers buy items similar to what others with them are buying. If a shopper feels accepted by people in a close group, they’re more likely to aim for distinctiveness. Shoppers who are unsure of their status with the group tend to choose what leaders in the group are selecting.
     On top of all this, recommendations from close friends are frequently misguided, according to University of Michigan and McGill University studies. People often mistakenly assume what they love is what friends will love. Meaningful friendships aren’t mainly about getting good product recommendations. Still, finding a good source for recommendations could develop weak links into meaningful relationships. C. S. Lewis, well-known to many as the author of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, wrote, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Grab On with Weak Connections
Expose Puffery for All It’s Worth
Sell More by Being Less Certain
Expect Shopper Conformity & Variety Seeking
Accept Shopper Concerns About Acceptance
Reflect Carefully on Marketing to the Mirror

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