You know Kim. She and her younger sisters are everywhere.
Her mother, Kris Jenner, is one of today’s truly brilliant contemporary marketers, and Kim has learned well.
Some of what Kim does is not replicable. Some of what she does do is replicable. And some of what The Kardashians do is Brilliant Big Picture Influence.
You don’t need to watch their popular television shows to learn this. You simply observe.
The Kim Kardashian Influence Factors
“Kevin, I have a question. I need to persuade buyers. Will it work, if I say ______….”
You can attempt to influence with a script in Direct Marketing. That could be online or direct response. In either of these scenarios, you CAN create an optimal presentation with the Factors of Influence.
In all other scenarios, you must utilize different Factors of Influence in every presentation.
There are a few exceptions, and The Kim Kardashian Factors are among those few that you can apply in every persuasive communication you have with another person.
Once you learn more of The Factors of Influence in general (far above and beyond even Kim), you can apply them easily from scenario to scenario, situation to situation.
Some are completely new. Some defy intuition. Some are just like you thought they would be…had you have thought of it.
There are many Factors of Influence that determine whether someone will say “yes” or “no.”
The most excellent thing about The Factors of Influence is that there are many, many of them.
That means there is a great deal to learn.
And it means as you learn each new factor, you become more influential. More persuasive. It’s like walking into your home and flipping on one light switch at a time.
Most people just flip on one or two light switches and thus have very little light. They have very little success captivating, mastering connection, persuading one or influencing thousands.
In this series of articles, I give you the houseful and then some.
Today, you learn UNIQUE triggers.
UNIQUE triggers are triggers that are SPECIFIC to the individual you are attempting to influence.
This is where Kim and the Kardashians have mastery.
Check it out…
What does Kim do that works?
The specific triggers you learn today I cluster under the name, The Kim Kardashian Triggers. In passing I may mention the scientific names of all you read about in this book but in general, I want to keep everything so it is memorable and easily applicable.
You’ll gain brief insights into compelling research but I’ll generally avoid going into specific experiments and their inner workings. There will be important exceptions.
And please indulge me when I take lines of text to credit those who have done the original research.
Triggers can include words and phrases, sentences and chapters, like primes, models, gestures, movement, color, drives, contexts, stimulus/response buttons and on and on.
A single Factor of Influence could influence the result of an interaction to the tune of 1% or perhaps as much as 10%. (There are a few that have very dramatic impact.) These aren’t typically considered massive numbers by most people, but ask a seasoned marketer what the difference is in those numbers.
If you had a 10% chance of influencing someone to say “yes,” using one of these factors could turn that 10% into 11% or 15% or 20%.
Learn how to piece together fitting Factors of Influence and you can push that 10% to ridiculously high levels of compliance.
The Average Influencer
When you watch Kim Kardashian, after you get past cute, you see someone who works hard. She’s mentally disciplined if not dramatic and she always makes stuff happen.
Your Average Joe in the public wants one thing that will cause the gal to say, “yes.”
And that’s why he is average.
He is lazy.
And the girl doesn’t like lazy. Prestige comes with Status. Status comes from Mastery and Recognition from Others.
Never be average or worse.
It’s as simple as that.
The sharp individual wants to master as many Factors as they can so it’s most difficult to hear “no.”
The keys to persuasion rarely include a generic sentence one can parrot that is then useful to all people everywhere.
“I was wrong.”
“You are the best.”
Those all come to mind as exceptions to the rule. There aren’t many others.
Influence is Far From Static
KEYPOINT: If there were strings of sentences and scripts you could mouth that had worked in the past, you’d eventually see them in all advertising, and their effect would eventually be diluted to the point they had no effect.
Example: Let’s say EVERY website online used a BUY NOW! button that looked the same as every other one and that every single button was red and had 16 point font letters and….you get the idea.
What would happen? Would that causes everyone’s sales to increase?
You know that’s not possible so what MUST HAPPEN?
Think about it.
If every single human on earth were selling Product X using Sales Letter Y because they had been proven the best, what would happen?
It would cause sales to evaporate.
Everyone would go broke.
The perfect proven combination now fails every time.
This is why the more people who use “System Q” or Sales Letter Y or Approach X will fail.
Once a girl has heard the same exact words from 10 consecutive guys she’ll realize that something is wrong. She is hanging around average and that’s less than boring.
Exact words will ultimately fail.
When people can’t distinguish something they identify with as unique but inclusive to some “in group”, or something is too broad in experience, it will fail.
People are identity driven and stimulated or triggered by what resonates with them…with what says, “ah that’s me.”
You want to be able to do that? On the next page you learn to use Triggers in a way you have never considered.
Kim’s Tactics that You can use now?
The “K” Factor
Kanye West, in one way was a predictable choice for Kim Kardashian to marry, at least at the subconscious level…
“K” works in the Kardashian family.
Here’s what I mean…
Names and letters are powerful focal points of identification and Kim Kardashian is a powerful girl in a brand name family.
Kim’s name, Kim Kardashian, is not only her personal identity, it is a brand name for products and business. The logo of the reverse K and K is familiar and recognizable.
In the 1970’s, Robert Kardashian, famed for being one of OJ Simpson’s trial attorneys, married an attractive gal named Kris. No surprise there.
“K’s” (as in Kardashian or Kevin) marry other “K’s” (Kris) with a greater frequency than they statistically would be expected to.
In fact J’s,L’s, and M’s, marry K’s with greater frequency as well. Proximity to another letter in the alphabet is also an active consideration for you here.
Robert and Kris had three children and they were all named with a “K” family identity. Kim, Kourtney, Khloe.
Robert and Kris had a son and named him…Robert.
People love to give their name to their children.
In fact, I married a girl with the initials KK.
Her middle name?
The same as my Mother’s first name.
Ironic or the way life often plays out?
I remember that striking a chord when I learned that piece of information. A most attractive girl…and then some.
Meanwhile Robert Kardashian passes away. Kris later marries Bruce Jenner, one of the greatest athletes in history. Kris and Bruce then went on to have Kendall and Kylie. (Bruce went on… ah it’s a long story.)
Today, several television shows revolve around the daily happenings of this family. The highest rated being, Keeping up with the Kardashians.
Letters Represent YOU
Letters become representations of your Self.
That “K” is powerful in ways to the person who has an initial “K” that you could only imagine.
The “K” is all it takes to trigger, “just like me.”
That sentence is one of those “take homes.” It’s not “just like me,” it’s the TRIGGER. Both elements.
Most people attempt to build rapport in very simplistic terms. I’ve written extensively in this area.
People can synchronize body postures, body langua
ge and vocal qualities to generate that “sort’a like me,” feeling.
But “K” is not “sort’a,” “K” IS ME…if your name is Kim or Kevin.
You respond very favorably to most things that r
emind you of you.
Do this simple experiment now.
1. Write down the initials of your name. (Print not manuscript)
2. Now look around you. Where else do you see those initials?
3. How do you feel about each of those things in contrast to to other things nearby?
Most people never have consciously considered this. Yet the effect can be profound.
This is a nonconscious Identity Factor that is predictable.
Last week I wrote an article in Coffee with Kevin Hogan about the Influence Factor of Priming. Then I gave a dozen ways to prime in conversation alone. I’m digging deeper in giving you tangible examples of how you can use what current research is finding in the field of influence.
I do want you to begin developing that creative self within you so that you can think of dozens of applications for every Factor of Influence you learn, easily recall and then master.
The Factors of Influence accumulate because almost no one uses them. Almost no one is conscious of them as being influential.
Using Kim Kardashian Influence Factors in Business
Example: If I still gave out business cards, I’d have 26 cards prepared for the 26 letters of the alphabet. (I’d actually have more but I’ll save this for later.)
Can I change my name, my company name or the names of my
products and books?
Obviously that’s not practical….most of the time…
How will you utilize the Initial-Letter Effect to influence?
How, specifically? It’s easy…
Here is just one powerful but incredibly simple way to utilize one of The Kim Kardashian Factors with something as simple as business cards.
Here would be a few of my business cards. I’d have a short message which utilizes matching initials of the customer, on my card. And I would have my URL and nothing else.
Note: I’m making these little messages up on the fly, you’ll take time and do it with more precision and flare.
Card One for Individual with First or Last Name first initial “A.”
An Amazing Adventure Awaits You!
That card would be given to Allen, Art, and other people whose names begin with “A”
And if you don’t have “A” as an initial, you might think, “Well that seems ridiculous.”
And you’d be required to re-evaluate that opinion once you feel how strong the bond is between your initials and you.
Card Two for the Individual with First or Last Name first initial “B.”
Brilliant experiences Begin here!
That card would go to Bob, Barry, Bill and other people whose names began with the letter “B”
Covert Hypnosis Creates Compliance
Delivering both Daring and Dignified Designs
And so on.
In about one hour, you will go through the alphabet and come up with 26 cards.
And what about those Q, X, Y, Z names?
The “Letter/Initial Effect” is MORE profound with people that have less frequently observed letters in their name.
What are other simple ways you can take advantage of the Letter/Initial Effect?
Whether invoices, envelopes, Christmas Cards…”letter personalization” – artfully and elegantly placed – will be experienced as a trigger that strikes a very, very strong and positive chord in the other person’s mind.
Decide to Move….by Initials?
The Identity Connection of initials, letters and sounds is so powerful it influences your future career….and even where you will live!
I’m curious, when you look at the initials in your name, do you find you or your spouse(s) initial(s) on the street sign your residence is on? What about the city? State?
Have you ever considered how you want to protect the child that shares your name when the Mother is yelling at that child in the store? Frankly, it doesn’t matter as much (to me) when I’m out at the store if a Mom over there is yelling at Branden. But please do NOT yell at Kevin, he’s a good kid.
Does it bug you just a bit when someone with your name commits a crime and the name is in big letters in the newspaper?
Do you ever cringe a bit if someone has a pet with your name?
Now it’s starting to come together? Excellent. Now, watch this. The scope and magnitude of these factors is dramatic.
How does your first name influence?
While you are deliberating on initials and names, it becomes obvious that what you name your child will influence their future in a dramatic fashion.
Names are often destinations and names ALWAYS influence destinations for the person.
To be blunt, the name you give your child will be a lifelong experience for that child…don’t blow it.
There are two ways this plays out.
The first is the name itself.
Did you pick a poor name for your child?
What is a “poor name,” and how dare I infer…..
An example of “poor” from my family.
My biological paternal great grandmother named her son Orville Lester Bates.
Can you imagine what that name does to a kid?
He hated his name so much that he changed his name to Orv Lee Bates.
Now here is just how powerful identity can be.
After living a life with a name that was simply slightly altered from a devastating life experience, he then gave his son his name!
(That would be my biological Father.)
My biological father hated the name so much that at age 12, he completely abandoned it and named himself after three men he found important in life. And then with a slight alteration, he gave me his Self Chosen Name.
If you named your child “Michael,” you picked the single most popular name you could have chosen. Good job. You can’t go wrong there.
Half as many people have the name David. That’s still absolutely fine. Good choice.
But what if you decided to be creative and give your child a name like Kareem, Alec, Malcolm, Ernest?
Not so good.
In fact, you have a lot of making up to do because those names are the least popular of all names.
“Ah, but that’s what makes him special, Kevin, I didn’t want him to be like everyone else!”
And he won’t be.
He’s much more likely to end up in prison. The research showing the connection between Juvenile Delinquency, Criminal Activity, and PNI (Popularity of Name Index) developed by David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee at Shippenburg University is clear cut.
(And do not notice that David and Daniel did the research. Certainly a coincidence.)
And you must be thinking, “but Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Alec Guiness, Alec Baldwin, Ernest Hemingway, Malcolm X. That’s some pretty good company.”
Not in the 21st Century…
It WAS pretty good company.
Your name changes destiny.
And…names often determine yes/no. Watch carefully!
Do you have friends and relatives that you care about?
Don’t let them make a disastrous mistake. I’ve stuck my nose into people’s business on this subject many times over the years. Even if they resent you, you probably saved their kid….and a lot of phone calls to you for “support” 16 years later….
How Do We Identify Our Selves?
Although the first initials (K.H. for me, what are yours?) are the most important to a person, K.L.H. is absolutely identifiable as “me,” AND I, like you, have a preference for ALL of the letters in all three of my names. K-E-V-I-N. You also have a preference for people that have those letters in their name (First and Last).
You particularly notice less common letters like “V” and “K” when you compare your name to another’s.
Does this mean that your best friend won’t have a name that’s completely different than yours?
Of course not, but it means it is LESS likely that they will.
Have you ever thought, “She spells her name wrong,” or “it’s the boring way.”
Her name is Khloe. Yours is Chloe.
Her name is Lori. Yours is Laurie.
Her name is Kayla. It’s Cayla.
And so on.
When you have the spelling one way, and theirs is another – they are now inferior to you in this respect.
You’re Bob, he’s Robert?
You’re Phil, he’s Philip?
“He’s probably a Brit.”
You’re Alex and she’s Alexandra?
“Get over yourself.”
You’re Katherine and she’s Kathy?
“Girl has no class.”
Fleeting (subconscious) thoughts that you now recognize as having had hundreds of times in your life.
Names and Destiny
The influence of names and letters goes even further.
People with the name “Dennis” are more likely to be Dentists when compared to the rest of the population.
“Raymond” is more likely to be a radiologist when compared with the rest of the population.
And we know that people with the same last name as a profession or trade generally are more likely to do business in that trade than the general population as a whole.
So a man with the last name, “Carpenter” is more likely to be a “Carpenter,” than you would statistically anticipate.
You’d probably be right if you thought Mr. Mason was more likely to be in Masonry.
These are all Factors of Influence within the Kim Kardashian Factors.
People with the name Georgia do indeed move to Georgia more than they statistically should.
The KK Factors are some of the most reliable triggers in influence.
Triggers that relate to the identity of an individual are all but certain to have a positive influence on the outcome of an event or transaction.
It might be THE DIFFERENCE between “yes and no” and, of course, it might not be as well. But it will be a Significant Factor.
What about your initials? Yesssss…..they influence!
Now let me ask you a question:
Do you like your name and initials?
Most people do. But this is not true for those individuals given poor names.
And, as the research has shown, sometimes you like the initials enough to influence other important behaviors.
For example, Jack is more likely to move to Jacksonville and marry Jackie than is Philip who is more likely to move to Philadelphia and marry Phyllis.
The Name-Letter Effect
Scientists call this phenomenon the “name-letter effect” and say that it is influential enough to encourage the pursuit of name- resembling life outcomes and partners.
However, if you like your name too much, you might be in trouble…
Leif Nelson at the University of California, San Diego and Joseph Simmons from Yale University, found that liking your own name sabotages success for people whose initials match negative performance labels.
In their first study, Nelson and Simmons investigated the effect of name resemblance on batters’ strikeouts. In baseball, strikeouts are recorded using the letter ‘K.’
After analyzing Major League Baseball players’ performance spanning 93 years, the researchers found that batters whose names began with ‘K’ struck out at a higher rate than the remaining batters.
In a second study, the researchers investigated the phenomenon in school. Letter grades are commonly used to measure students’ performance, with the letters ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C’ and ‘D’ denoting different levels of performance. Nelson and Simmons reviewed 15 years of grade point averages (GPAs) for M.B.A. students graduating from a large private American university.
Students whose names began with ‘C’ or ‘D’ earned lower GPAs than students whose names began with ‘A’ or ‘B.’ Students with the initial ‘C’ or ‘D,’ presumably because of an unconscious fondness for these letters, were slightly less successful at achieving their conscious academic goals.
Interestingly, students with the initial ‘A’ or ‘B’ did not perform better than students whose initials were grade irrelevant. Therefore, having initials that match hard-to-achieve positive outcomes, like acing a test, may not necessarily cause an increase in performance.
However, after analyzing law schools, the researchers found that as the quality of schools declined, so did the proportion of lawyers with name initials ‘A’ and ‘B.’
The researchers confirmed these findings in the laboratory with an anagram test. The result of the test confirmed that when people’s initials match negative performance outcomes, performance suffers.
These results provide striking evidence that unconscious wants can insidiously undermine conscious pursuits.
[Association for Psychological Science – What’s In A Name? Initials Linked To Success]
Now…what about getting them to sign THEIR NAME on the dotted line…what does THAT mean in influencing people?
Does this actually influence buying behavior? Here’s how…
How else do names influence behavior?
The first letter of your childhood surname determines much about your consumer behavior as an adult!
Why are some people more likely than others to wait in line overnight to buy a just-released book or to queue up for the new iPad?
“The tendency to act quickly to acquire items such as those above is related to the first letter of one’s childhood surname,” write Kurt A. Carlson (Georgetown University) and Jacqueline M. Conard (Belmont University).
The Last-Name Effect
The authors of this study examined how quickly adults responded to opportunities to acquire items of value to them. They found that the later in the alphabet people’s childhood surnames were, the faster those consumers responded to purchase opportunities.
The “last-name effect” occurred when the items were real (basketball tickets, cash, and wine) or hypothetical (sale on a backpack).
The effect occurred only with childhood surnames, not names that had changed due to marriage. Children with last names that fall late in the alphabet are often at the end of lines or at the back of the class.
“The idea holds that children develop time-dependent responses based on the treatment they receive,” Carlson & Conrad explain.
(Notice Carlson and Conrad…another coincidence I’m certain…)
“In an effort to account for these inequities, children late in the alphabet will move quickly when last name isn’t a factor; they will buy early.”
“Likewise, those with last names early in the alphabet will be so accustomed to being first that that individual opportunities to make a purchase won’t matter very much; they will ‘buy late.'”
“The last-name effect is especially important to retailers and salespeople because customer names are easy for marketers to obtain and because there are many decisions in which the decision is not whether to buy, but when to buy,” C & C write.
Whether it’s shopping at a clearance sale, choosing a seat to hear live music, or shopping for produce at a farmers’ market, late alphabet consumers want to make sure they’re the first in line.
[Kurt A. Carlson and Jacqueline M. Conard. The Last Name Effect: How Last Name Influences Acquisition Timing. Journal of Consumer Research]
Sign by the X….
As much as your name and your initials are part of your identity, your signature is significantly more important.
In fact, your signature MEANS a great deal because you are warranting something almost every single time you sign your name.
What Does Signing Your Name Mean in the Selling and Influence Process?
For years, sales people have tried to get a customer to sign a document, any document, to unconsciously sway the person to purchase whatever they are selling.
Does this work?
Does the customer’s identity really get wrapped up in the signature?
The research has been done.
Your signature….a major trigger to say “NO??”
Here is the answer.
Signing your name on the dotted line heightens your sense of self and leads to purchase behavior that affirms your self-identity, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.
But signing can reduce engagement in consumers who don’t identify strongly with a product or category.
“Although there are numerous ways in which people may present their identity to others, signing one’s name has distinct legal, social, and economic implications,” Keri L. Kettle and Gerald Häubl (University of Alberta).
Marketing Your Name
The act of signing also has implications in the marketplace.
In one experiment, consumers were asked to either sign or print their name (in an ostensibly unrelated task) before visiting a sporting goods store to purchase a pair of running shoes.
“For consumers who closely associate their identity with running, compared to printing their name, providing their signature before entering the store caused an increase in the number of running shoes they tried on and in the amount of time they spent in the store,” K & H write.
Signing their name had the opposite effect on people who did not associate their identity with running; they spent less time in the store and tried on fewer shoes.
In another study, consumers were asked to make a series of product choices after either signing or printing their names. Consumers who signed were more likely to choose an option that was popular with a social group they belong to. The tendency was stronger when consumers chose in a product category that signaled their identity to others (a jacket) than when they selected in a category that does not signal their identity (toothpaste).
The study has implications for retailers and consumers, the authors explain.
For instance, a retailer might ask shoppers to sign their names after completing a survey, to enter a prize drawing, or enroll in a loyalty program, since it is likely to lead consumers who identify closely with the stores’ products to become more engaged.
“However, such signature interventions should be used cautiously, as signing tends to reduce engagement in consumers who lack such identification.
“Although a signature does not necessarily imply commitment, it does always represent one’s identity. Because consumers sign (or can be asked to do so) in many consumption contexts, it is important to develop a deeper understanding of how producing one’s signature influences behavior,” K & H conclude.
[Keri L. Kettle and Gerald Häubl. The Signature Effect: Signing Influence Consumption-Related Behavior by Priming Self-Identity. Journal of Consumer Research:, October 2011]
The Kardashian Identity is not much different than my identity or yours.
Understanding the power of your customer and client’s identities now causes you to intentionally take that identity into consideration.
To do otherwise would make no sense.
You’ve got numerous ways to utilize The Kim Kardashian Influence Factors .
Reserve your spot now!
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