At Influence: Boot Camp 2008 we did a fascinating experiment.
Part of what you are about to uncover is loosely based on the work of Dr. Gerald Zaltman at Harvard. The other part…well…watch…
I had everyone draw a circle on a sheet of paper and then lines extending out from the circle like hands on a clock. Then as on a Mind Map (ala Tony Buzan) I had people close their eyes, clear their mind, think of the words/brand Kevin Hogan, open their eyes and write, in an open circle, the FIRST WORD that came to their mind.
Then I repeated the process and asked people to write down What they FELT when I said, “Kevin Hogan” and repeated the process over and over for feelings, thoughts and first words.
KEYPOINT: For most brands and products, there are about 7-12 unique characteristics, qualities, feelings, thoughts attached to a brand which are generally held by people (consensus maps) who loyally use a brand.
If you can get about a dozen loyal brand users to interview, you can usually hammer out an excellent metaphor map of the loyal customer’s feelings and thoughts about the brand.
….One of the very few forms of market research that works for real world products, people and services.
It’s a bit more complex than I’ve described, but if I leave it here, you will get the basics.
My guess was that the brand “Kevin Hogan” would have about 10-15 unique associative constructs. I am well aware that “Kevin Hogan” is a complex construct because there are actually a few different fields for which that brand is known. (Success, influence, selling, medical, therapy, hypnosis, wealth building, etc.) And there are a few different ways people have interacted with the brand where that interaction caused a continued interaction.
….It turned out, there were almost three dozen unique associative constructs in the influence/persuasion brand of Kevin Hogan.
How could I have been so wrong…?
Earlier that morning, I had written down what I thought those 10 – 15 associative constructs would be.
I only got six right, and there were TWENTY additional constructs.
In other words, I thought I 100% understood and “knew my brand.”
I thought I knew how I was “seen” and “felt” in the minds and hearts of others.
I was dead wrong…at least in what I didn’t know.
I truly believed that I could self-evaluate myself as a brand. (Overconfidence heuristic, yes?)
KEYPOINT: In business and in life, you see yourself from one filter and others see you from another. Those fliters can be as different as night and day, or, they can be similar, but until you elicit the RIGHT KIND of information, you will never know.
A packed house of people showed me who I was, what I was and how I interacted with them, in their minds and hearts.
Because it dawned on me that this information would be incredibly valuable to my competition if I released it all, I’ve decided to give you some of the information and you’ll have to wait for the rest when Boot Camp 2008 is released on DVD.
I speculated that people would input “Coffee, Ginger Peach Tea, Survivor, Lost, Apprentice, Mansion, Gold, Persuasion, Body Language,” and six other markers of identification.
I was amazed to find that not one person’s metaphor map had “body language” inputted, yet, I’m well known as one of the body language experts on the planet. But not ONE person had that associative marker. In fact, the majority of people who end up at my web site from search engines found it as a result of typing in “body language.”
I’m well known to corporate America and to media as the body language expert, but for those who actually interact with and buy the brand, it is not a big part of the brand they are buying.
That was dumbfounding.
It was no surprise that “influence/persuasion” were heavily weighted on the metaphor map.
An interesting distinction was “Influencer” – NOT something I had considered, but it was consensual over and above “persuasion/influence.”
“Survivor” made the cut, but not the other TV shows I so often talk about like Lost, Apprentice, House, CSI, did. It was Survivor. Maybe it is a coincidence, but that is probably the most powerful association (word/feeling) I have about myself from childhood, into adulthood. An interesting coincidence.
I was sure The Mansion would be at the front of people’s minds after having so many hits on the photos of The Mansion on the website.
Not one person. Forget having 30 people have an association there.
Again I was rather surprised.
KEYPOINT: People see you, they experience you in a context and specific constructs in their mind. You are more than free associations in someone’s mind, but those free associations often represent their entire picture of you or your product.
“Ginger Peach Tea” and “Coffee” were both HUGE associations with the Kevin Hogan brand.
Keypoint: Repetition of theme and context are not only crucial, they are REMEMBERED and ASSOCIATED to you. Make sure those triggers are something people will experience daily if at all possible. In the case of Coffee and Tea, most English speaking people have one or the other. It’s not necessary that they have Ginger Peach Tea, as long as TEA is in the mix.
That was neither surprising or even unexpected. It was interesting that it was much more important than so many other things.
What was really fascinating were the emotions people felt about the brand, Kevin Hogan.
I’m not going to go into depth here because this is where the most valuable marketing information about the brand Kevin Hogan comes in.
Suffice it to say that I did think a few powerful associations would be highlighted.
It turned out there were more than a few; they were very powerful, surprisingly positive (compassionate, approachable, authentic, passionate, kind, and 16 other positive emotions people felt about the brand in a consensual fashion.) In other words, they were consistent among the people in the audience.
I don’t think of myself in most of the terms that people felt about me, but the people were clear that “compassionate” is not the same as “kind” and that “passionate” is not the same as “intense,” and intense was one of the biggies…”funny” was most interestingly not the same as “sense of humor.” “Provocative” I expected.
In no way did I expect the emotional mass of feelings, however.
There was only one negative “emotion” or “label” attached to the brand and that was “Bad Ass” which I thought was interesting, but although it wasn’t consensual, it was certainly something I consider true in some aspects, especially in the coaching areas of the brand.
There was a color that was on the map: Red.
(I’m not sure why, but I find it interesting that the “Kevin Hogan” brand is a RED product. Covert Persuasion book cover perhaps? Something more profound? I asked what color Dave Lakhani was if I was “red.” “Blue,” was the answer…I kid you not.)
The next product I release will have a red base. If the map is correct, it should trigger a great deal of attention.
KEYPOINT: To not utilize information on your consensual metaphor map could be costing you millions or more.
Well over a dozen unique feelings toward a brand is very unusual.
Hershey’s had four, I believe.
My heart pounded before doing this because you never know what is going to happen “live” without a script, and if people start rattling off things you wish they wouldn’t have, then you can be in trouble.
That didn’t happen.
I haven’t talked a lot about metaphor maps and associative connections between “brand” and “customer/client” outside of the Science of Influence CD’s, but the information the audience revealed to me is worth an enormous amount of money for the future of the brand.
It allows for highlighting parts of the brand that haven’t been highlighted in the past, or at least I didn’t think they were.
KEYPOINT: The crucial factor, of course, is that your most loyal customers and clients have very similar maps of your brand.
If you want to be successful and have a brand with longevity, you must know what your customers and clients truly think of you and, of course, continue to be loyal to them in generating the feelings that they experience when they take part in your brand.
A couple of notes are worth thinking about from the scientific page. I was leading the elicitation and was standing in front of the group as they opened and closed their eyes and wrote. That certainly could create a bias of some kind by highlighting what they see instead of what they NORMALLY see when they interact with the brand at home or in their car.
The lack of strong negative emotions people get when thinking about the brand, Kevin Hogan, was, for some reason, disturbing to me. I’m not sure I like to be thought of in all of these positive shades of rose.
In fact one of the things I’ve highlighted in my career are my culturally perceived weaknesses.
And of course that could be part of the reason that loyal friends and customers are not seeing or reporting as many weaknesses as they are, upon further review, aware of.
I don’t have these billion dollar goals that people like to see in gurus.
People know I drive a simple car and they know I don’t know a damn thing about those four-wheeled buggers….I can take part in political or religious rants on occasion… Reality based living and wealth strategies are highlighted in my work instead of the bogus EZWay philosophies pumped by the gurus…..
I enjoyed my evening at the Playboy mansion and published what I thought were at least somewhat provocative pictures from that night.
Surely that should have brought out negative emotions in some wild-eyed conservatives or feminists or SOMEONE… In fact, you almost want it to from a marketing perspective!
Nothing showed up on the map that I can immediately see.
I have no idea if the POSITIVE feelings were influenced by the above, but NOTHING negative? No buttons of negative emotion pushed?
Obviously, “The Secreteers” and such would have a different map, but that isn’t important because they aren’t loyal customers…there are always maps of a brand of people who aren’t customers or clients, but that is not the stuff of consensual metaphor maps of loyal customers…
KEYPOINT: Your metaphor maps point out how your loyal customers and clients experience the brand. They don’t try and convert those who do not self select from the brand meeting the consumer.
Metaphor maps teach you how to market to the world so you attract those people who will be long-term loyal customers.
The biggest lesson for me remains that I had overestimated my certainty of how people Experience this brand and grossly underestimated what they Feel about the brand.
Finally, on another note of scientific interest.
I had just had a rant prior to the elicitation. Probably the only time over the week I was irritable. Someone said they had the wrong package of bonuses that were included in their course package. I bet anyone in the audience that there couldn’t be a mistake and I bet $1000 cash for anyone who was thinking there were any mistakes in their bonus packages.
(I really don’t recommend this strategy for speakers and trainers. I simply was tired and had just pumped three hours of intense download and didn’t want to hear any unnecessary whining.)
THAT should have had SOME NEGATIVE effect especially from the person of discussion.
It was as if I hadn’t blown off the steam in the first place.
Was I forgiven the rant or was it justified in the minds of others to the point they didn’t want to hear anyone whining, either?
These things, of course, we can never know.
One thing is certain. No matter how well you know your customer…. and how well you think you know what they think….never allow yourself to become overconfident. Finding out what your customer REALLY thinks is absolutely crucial and you NEED to do that!
Science of Influence
The Science of Influence Master Volume VI – Invisible Influence
Knowing What They Think and Who They Think You Are
Do you need to have listened to any of the previous CD’s to use this program?
No. It has been intentionally designed to be newcomer friendly.
For those of you who have only been “here” for a year or less, this program,
The Science of Influence Master Volumes 61-72 is my effort to “top” what
most everyone reports as their favorite of the Library, 49-60.
When I listened to it, I felt comfortable that this program
accomplishes that. 61-72 is superior.
This program is brand new, unreplicated material.
The field of influence and it’s subfield of persuasion continue to grow
with fresh research from the best minds on the planet.
More books about persuasion were published in the last three years
than in recorded history to date.
Almost all of these books were rehash of Cialdini, Carnegie, and
myself. There wasn’t really anything new.
But the persuasion and researchers….well that is a different story.
I had a “field day” this year stacking just shy of seven FEET of research.
I’ve synthesized this with results from dozens of real world applications.
Here’s some of what I’ve distilled from current research that you
can put into immediate use:
We learned a lot about the relationship of how people “feel about
products, services and people” and the mental shortcuts they use to
The first cluster of material I developed was about how people
connect with YOU when they buy from you.
So, Who Is Your Customer, Anyway?
What do they think?
How do they feel?
Does it matter?
So what? Can that be used for ANYTHING?
Turns out it can….
Identity in Persuasion
It’s in a cluster I call IDENTITY.
Identity research could fill 12 CD’s all by itself, but that would
have left too much excluded that I wanted you to have NOW.
So, I put together the core concepts of IDENTIFICATION and IDENTITY
and how YOU can utilize this cluster of information in influencing
One example would be something like,
“If you know someone is a Republican who voted for Bush in the last
election, how does that help me predict what they will think, buy,
and feel about it all today when I ask them to buy from me?”
Obviously we all identify with other people.
Around the house here and in the home office, you’ll hear people
refer to me as being just like HOUSE (House M.D./Hugh Laurie). I find
that hard to imagine as he is older than I am and uses a cane….
In public, people tell me that I remind them of Kelsey Grammer,
Robin Williams, Drew Carey and David Letterman all rolled into one.
Must be a very overweight guy….
So the point is that they identify me….with them.
That means they will SEE ME through those filters. Those filters
will completely change their perceptions of me, my work and whether
they will hire me or not. For years people have used the word filters….
How would you like to know what that REALLY MEANS?
How would you like to understand what you get from a filter?!
Identification and Identity are profound areas of influence research
that are now coming to the surface. It’s nothing short of fascinating
and of course no one knows about it yet.
I DID see a couple of Internet Marketers use material that they got
at Boot Camp where I touched on Identity. I think they did rather
well in their launch…..
Aside from that you will be the first to use this virgin research.
Because the concept of “persona” is so poorly understood and
underutilized outside of show business and branding, I do show you
how to develop your own persona. Little is more important in being
THE person want to do business with…I’ll come to that in a
I decided not to open with something so profound, however.
10 Simple Steps to Persuade Anyone
Mark Joyner, who is probably the all time #1 Internet
Marketer on the planet, asked me to write a small piece of his book,
Simpleology. (Very good book btw)
He wanted 10 steps I use when I persuade. Not when other people
persuade, but when I do, and he wanted me to make them simple and
easy to understand no matter how complex they are.
That was a challenge but in doing some self-modeling I was able to
develop quite a cool construct that I’ve never written about and now
for the first time you get it all.
This one long CD is of significant value to those who want to
influence, especially in business. I’d like to say it’s worth the
price of admission but would you think one CD could be worth $600?
Maybe not…it is…but maybe not. So I’ll just say it’s pretty
excellent and leave it at that….
Influencing the Long Tail
Finding the meeting point in the world between you and the universe
of people who would LOVE to do business with you, is the subject of
the next couple of CD’s.
KEYPOINT: YOU are THE answer for a group of people out there.
I show you how to project the image and persona you need to project to
draw that group to you.
This portion of Science of Influence 61-72 is just too cool. It was a
lot of fun to synthesize the work that’s been done in this area and
make it pretty simple to understand and just as easy to make real for
Persuasion’s Best Kept Secret
In Science of Influence Four, I briefly touched on MVD.
MVD is short for Most Valued Dimension.
No one (no one) had ever reported this phenomenon to the public
So for most people, it was so unusual that it went right over their
heads. But about 20 people wrote this year and asked a ton of
questions about how to calculate the MVD for themselves.
This is an incredibly potent persuasion tool that is waiting for
people to learn. This is NOT easy and it is NOT simple.
I have made it approachable.
If you really want to know WHY people pick YOU and YOUR PRODUCT,
this is the answer. Once you know WHY people pick YOU, it is a lot
easier to project those FEATURES (NOT BENEFITS) to the public.
Once again, if I could say that this CD was worth the price of
admission…..but I won’t. I’ll wait for YOU to tell ME.
How do Mind Readers Know What You’re Thinking?
The other thing people constantly ask is how I read their minds so
It’s in CD 66. (THE ENTIRE CD IS HOW MIND READERS DO IT!)
The Mind Reading CD is *definitely* worth the price of admission, no
maybe’s about it. It’s frigging excellent.
Yes. I show you what to do, what to say, and how.
Enough said….you’ll see. (And do listen to this CD numerous times.)
The Ultimate Power Factor in Persuasion
CD 67 discusses in detail the two most important factors in
persuasion, bar none.
In detail that I’ve never given this subject, you will gain an
awakening awareness to these two core concepts of behavior and the
keys to control of behavior.
Subliminal Persuasion & Perception
The 3rd most commonly requested information was “subliminal X.”
Man, do people want to know about subliminal stuff and you should,
too, because it is the future of marketing and influence.
Sooooo….you get it one crystal clear hour where I pound out recent
research and what it means to how you will persuade, or not.
Fewer people ask for “recent research” unless we count “what’s new
in persuasion,” and then that is what the next program is about.
Current Research Gives You a 3:1 Edge
Current research in persuasion is voluminous and over the next two
CD’s I cover a LOT of stuff quite quickly almost always with examples
and specifics for YOU.
New research is always intoxicating because it is stuff no one knows
about yet…because it is new.
And I love new stuff…
Eminently useful immediately.
You will like. You will put into use immediately. The final two CD’s are pretty cool.
A Complete Guide to Analyzing Your Customer
For the first time ever, I show you how to analyze your customer.
The questions you want to ask YOURSELF about YOUR CUSTOMER (or the
girl or whoever) and then I show you how to utilize that analysis to
cause people to “change their minds” (and yes, their behavior).
Once again, cutting-edge research merges with real world
applications and makes you the master. (Well, maybe not after
listening just once…but, drill this stuff into your brain a few
times, and you will do very well, indeed.)
Science of Influence Volumes 61-72 will take you through the next
It’s not only cool, it’s approachable, it’s exciting, it’s intense.
You will be the first to have almost all of this information. You
will be the first to use this information and I’m excited to be the
person who gives it to you.
12 hours on 12 Audio CD’s
150-Page Manual on CD