Likely Story

This post is part of a series on Design for Engagement.

Engagement > Persuasiveness>


People like books Oprah likes.
There are those among us (you know who you are) who actively look for reasons they need to buy the latest Apple product, simply because they like Apple.

Everyone is more receptive to proposals from people (or brands) they like. The cause of liking may be physical attractiveness, or charisma, or charm, or because we identify with them.

What does the girl in the beer ad know (or care) about beer? Why do we think George Clooney knows anything about coffee? In fact, we don’t think about it. Nevertheless these promotions work.
The oldest trick in the book

Generally, if your customer identifies with something or someone, they will like it. People identify with propositions that reflect themselves. If you think about your favourite TV show, you’ll probably find there is something about your favourite character that reminds you of yourself. (I’m pretty sure this is why I like Breaking Bad).

Bottom Line

  • Connect your proposition to something or someone your audience already likes.
  • Help your audience identify with your proposition by reflecting aspects of themselves, such as physical traits, gender, age, race, religion, nationality, interests, etc.

Is this how you see things? ...or have I missed the bigger picture? Share your view. Leave a comment below. Please engage.

This post is part of a series on building customer engagement.

If your interests extend to theory and philosophy, please check out my other blog.


  1. The Economist Aug 31st 2013 edition reports this sophisticated example of the use of Liking to persuade:

    "Above all, Mr Obama made sure to offer each part of his coalition a link to his life story. Education made me, he told students: not birth into wealth. Speaking as a father, he cheered parents. He praised women such as his own wife, hailed military veterans like his own grandfather and—to a black questioner at a town-hall meeting—spoke of their shared racial experiences."


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