As we discussed in the previous blog, one face to the cube of persuasion is the Law of Reciprocity; we like to repay what another person has provided for us. As each face is equally as important and required to box up a sale, the second face to marketing tactics and branding strategy is looking at people’s behaviour patterns or tendencies. You can deliberately shift attitudes and subsequent actions to persuade others to achieve your ends. Or simply recognise when others are using these common sales and marketing techniques on you.
The Second Face to Persuasion is the Law of Commitment and Consistency
We all feel driven to appear consistent in many areas of our lives – in our thoughts, feelings, words, actions, opinions, beliefs, habits and promises. When we decide on something, we like to commit to sticking with this choice later on. People prefer to carry a reputation of honesty, and desire to be perceived as dependable, reliable and of course, consistent. That is why when we make a stand, we will justify it, even if we may be wrong.
Charities who get you to sign a petition know that petitions rarely have a strong effect. What they are really doing is initiating a belief or action, engraining it in our heads. Next time, when they ask for a donation, you will be more likely to donate, as you have put your name down on the line and have made a psychological commitment. It’s known as the ‘foot-in-the-door technique’ and the same principle works with completing a questionnaire, or sampling a product.
Start small, and through a commitment, you can trigger the action of consistency. It’s about starting a relationship and the same works with brands. Perhaps you may go to an Apple store and try out one of many iPhones on display. Before you know it, a feeling of brand loyalty can come in and you will stick with Apple, as it is a trusted brand, one that you are familiar with. iPhones will turn to iPads, MacBooks, etc.
Sometimes it can be good to make people work a little. Once they put in a little effort, it will increase the power of their commitments as they have already begun to take action towards it. Commitment is the key to Consistency.
There is the famous proverb: “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
It all takes one step.