To paraphrase Ken Blanchard, influence is one of the keys to success. And for influence to be effective, it requires a solid emotional connection between yourself and others.
Anyone who has mastered the art of influence is adept at language persuasion and tapping into others’ emotions to drive their feelings. Nevertheless, this begs the obvious question: how do they do it?
In truth, the most influential people, like Aristotle, mastered the art of language persuasion and influence throughout history. Some of their techniques are practiced by business leaders today.
In this article, we look at the persuasion framework by Aristotle and a few techniques businesses and brands can use to influence their audiences.
Persuasion modes, or rhetorical appeals, are strategies Aristotle formulated to classify a speaker’s appeal to his audiences. They include ethos, pathos, and logos. Simply put, they provide a framework for understanding how people persuade others to do something.
Below is a lineup showing how they work.
Ethos involves persuading your audience that your character is sincere. More often than not, brands use celebrities or experts so that audiences can see they are working with trustworthy individuals.
An example of effective use of ethos is that of Colin Kaepernick’s ad – a famous American footballer featured in an advert focusing on believing in oneself and sacrificing everything.
The audience trusts the footballer’s character because he oozes exemplary ethics. As such, he once knelt during the U.S. national anthem to protest against systematic oppression and racial injustice in the U.S.
Pathos is derived from the Greek word meaning suffering.
When a speaker uses pathos to communicate, they persuade their audience by appealing to their emotions like humor, anger, pity, sadness, optimism, and encouragement.
A prime example of pathos is Gillette’s most recent ad. In the advertisement, a dad teaches his son (Samson), a transgender activist, how to shave for the first time with a Gillette.
We see Samson’s father appealing to his son not to be scared, but everything runs deeper than just a shaving cut. It’s more than just a razor technique and has more to do with the challenge of living like a transgender man.
Overall, the ad conveys intense emotions through Gillette’s use of pathos.
Logos involve persuading your audiences by reasoning with them and displaying facts to support your sentiments. Brands use logos through data and statistics to convince people to act. iPhone X is a perfect example of logo use.
Apple has compiled a list of facts about this gadget, like wireless charging and the lack of a home button. In addition, it has durable glass. These facts suggest that the iPhone X is currently the most advanced phone.
Mastering all three of Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals can go a long way toward business success. Imagine a campaign that combines all three appeals. They are the most impressive ads of all time. Take a look at the advertisement for former boxer George Foreman. His grills have sold for over $100 million worldwide.
6 Valuable Techniques and How to Implement Them
Below are six persuasion techniques that your brand can apply, giving you a fair advantage over the human brain.
Whenever someone gives you something you need, there is a high chance you will also want to return the favor. In essence, this is how reciprocity works.
How to apply this technique.
- Firstly, you can convert a casual visitor into a real-time buyer by offering a tripwire. This means sacrificing some of your products at a lower price to change the relationship between you and the buyer.
- You can also offer discounts for first-time buyers, like free shipping.
- For your existing customers, ensure that you send gift cards as a sign of appreciation.
- Be Consistent
Make your customers feel appreciated for your persuasion techniques to be effective. For instance, you can do this by being consistent and committed to sending relevant emails to your customers. As such, you will be compelled to follow through because people like it when their thoughts align with their actions.
When your customers start making commitments, they will likely engage in self-persuasion and cause more extensive obligations in the future.
- Have Social Proof
Social media’s true power lies in its influence. Social media allows businesses to engage and influence customers with relevant content.
In addition, humans are social by nature and influenced by others around them, especially people with high social status. In uncertain situations, you are more likely to follow people with similar values because doing what others do brings satisfaction.
How to apply social proof to your business.
- Ensure that your business has a website that gives detailed information about your business and the services you offer.
- Ensure you have testimonials and positive reviews from several customers. You can achieve this by getting experts or influencers to endorse your product.
- Display the number of customers who have purchased a given product.
- Have Authority
This is the tendency to believe an expert’s comments. You can apply this technique to your business by doing the following:
- Highlight qualifications like your job title, academic credentials, accomplishments, and awards.
- Avoid clichés and vague gifts and prizes for your customers to enhance trust.
- If you are in doubt, consult an expert in your field.
- Bring About the Scarcity Mentality
Generally, prices rise when a product is scarce or its supply is limited, which means it gains more value.
During an opening monologue in 1973, Johnny Carson commented on the upcoming toilet paper shortage. Due to this, everyone rushed to the stores to purchase enough toilet paper for fear of running out in the future.
Recent research shows that scarcity persuasion, as Johnny Carson did, creates urgency. People tend to value a limited product, purchasing it before it runs out of stock.
Amazon also uses the scarcity mindset technique to persuade customers to buy a specific product.
To enhance this technique:
- Ensure you promote limited-time offers by counting down when the discount deal will end.
- Display the amount of money customers saved by purchasing the limited product. In addition, include a call to action to persuade customers to check out before the discounted offer expires.
- Offer other discounts like free shipping to customers who purchase the product before a stipulated period.
- Use the Paradox of Choice
The paradox of choice states that when customers have plenty of options, they may need help with decision-making and eventually stop buying any product.
However, when a customer is presented with only two options, the idea of not purchasing is muted. This is because the brain focuses on buying either of the two options.
The key to implementing this technique lies in balancing your options correctly.
To sum up, some of the techniques as mentioned above could be more effective in e-commerce. However, most of them translate well and work. As a business person, entrepreneur, or digital marketer, trying some of the above methods would be worthwhile to elevate your business.
Partner With a Reputable Branding Company
Are you searching for a comprehensive branding solution tailored to your specific needs? In truth, branding reflects the customer’s perception of your business’ products and services. Due to this, it would be wise to partner with a branding company to create an identity unique to your business.
At Kingdom Branding, we provide excellent services in digital marketing, branding, design, high-performance development, and social media engagement. In other words, we are your to-go creative partner.
To discuss your project vision, contact us to book a discovery session. Our team of experts is on standby to ensure you grow your business and get a quick return on investment.