Psychology and Marketing.
This book is everywhere, everyone references it. I wish they also covered this at school. It has many insights on how to persuade a consumer. After reading this you start to see how this applies all around you each day.
What motivates someone to grab their wallet? This is the key question of the book. Cialdini introduces six principles to persuade people: reciprocity, commitment / consistency, authority, social proof and likeability.
Of every principle he gives extensive examples and shows how it can be applied. For instance the first one, reciprocity is used a lot. The Hare Krishna’s give a book in your hand followed by asking for a donation. If you say ‘no’, their response is: ‘you will only pay for the printing costs’. Later newspapers such as Telegraaf also handed a newspaper in peoples hands, with the hope they would buy a subscription. However this didn’t work because people where used to free newspapers. However buying a subscription is a big step.
Another example is Oprah. She is a likeable authority figure, who comes on TV every working day 4pm and gives people gifts in the studio and forms communities online. She is the entire package and can persuade you easily into buying stuff. This is why companies give her free stuff to give a away. We all remember the episode where she gives away cars. Below is a video where she looks back on that moment, reminding people, she gave away free cars. You can feel the joy coming though the screen.
Autoblog looked back on the Oprah-moment to see what Pontiac got in return. The profile raised, however it wasn’t a high quality car. Some cars where recalled and Pontiac wend bankrupt. Pontiac missed ‘social proof’, because they got bad and few reviews. So people didn’t buy them. If they would have picked different car it could have worked.
Buy this book and look around you how these six principles, a mixture of psychology and marketing, persuade you.