The Authority Effect

Understand Your Buyer > How People Work > The Authority Effect


What is it?

The Authority Effect occurs when we are compelled to do something because we have been told to by a person of authority, or have simply witnessed that person doing the same.

A person of authority can be a celebrity, a peer or someone successful in your space that you look up to and aspire to be like.


Why does it work?

It’s a form of social proof. We want to do things that are tried, tested, approved and we want to identify with people who are like us. The effect is so powerful that by a celebrity simply wearing a certain type of watch can mean we are compelled to want it – they don’t even need to explicitly endorse it.


How can you use it?

The Authority Effect can apply to every business, but isn’t feasible for every business. You need to have access to well known or successful people who have some form of influence over their followers and audience. If you do have access to someone of influence, then you can ask them to directly recommend your offering, or simply be seen to be using it.

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