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Alternative Persuasion

By Molly Baker

What happens when facts or truths alone are no longer sufficient in convincing your audience to try your brand, use your service or support your cause? A while ago, brands and marketers discovered that the “-er” messaging stopped working to convince new users to try their product. Cheaper, bigger, better—even with proven side-by-side tests, the messaging was still not effective. This prompted a new approach: storytelling—using facts along with their emotional context in order to better connect with the audience.

At Hyperquake, we understand that facts are critical, but are also complicated because they can be interpreted differently by different people. Each person develops a perspective on a fact that is relative to their feelings about the context of the information, and to how, when and why it’s being presented. To persuade your audience about something, you can’t simply share with them the facts—you must share a common value, interest, or goal. That value creates the context needed to ultimately believe the truths you are sharing.

Beyond establishing facts, we must work hard to understand what factors are driving people’s beliefs and behaviors today. We must use this understanding to bring to life a new story about a brand, service industry or a not-for-profit … one that resonates with people’s beliefs and values, ultimately attracting them and persuading them to think and act (buy, try, donate, work, train) differently.

The Stanford Social Innovation Review just published an insightful article that delves more deeply into this shift within brand messaging, titled “Persuasion in a “Post-Truth” World.” Enjoy the article here.

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