The Need To Be Liked

Recently I have been reading Rohit Bhargava's book "Likeonomics" about the importance of likability in business. I know it sounds very hipster-esque, but the book quickly dissolves those notions by showing you how in our modern world, earning trust may be the hardest burden a business has to bear.

What is it we all want from our business? We want them to be successful, we want them to be profitable and we want them to serve their purpose. These are just a couple of examples but it is important to note that at the core of these examples is one simple problem: we need customers.

In 2017 can you tell me how it is you get customers? Here are some answers I came up with from the standpoint of a Melbourne FL video production company:

  1. Put out a good product or service
  2. Have competitive prices
  3. Treat your customers well
  4. Advertise

The Believability Crisis!

I am sure there are a few more examples that some of you could name. The thing I quickly realized was that what Bhargava was talking about in his book was something I never really considered as a basic step of running a business. I mean don't get me wrong, I knew that people liking our business was important because if people didn't like are business that would be bad. But that was it. I had just thought of it as more of a rudimentary concept. When building a brand I mostly assumed likeability was an output created by the aforementioned steps. If you do a good job, have a good price and treat your customers well - they should like you. Bhargava agrees that these steps are of course key to a brand being liked, but he asks that you take a look to make sure that everything you are doing has a layer of likability built in. Not only for your customers but mostly for your future customers. Here's why: The believability crisis!

I am not talking about the fake news drama in current politics, I am talking about a much bigger problem with advertisement in general. The book estimates today that consumers are on average bombarded with anywhere from 3,500 - 5,000 marketing messages a day compared to 500 - 2,000 in the 1970s. This creates a system overload for consumers and naturally puts us all in a default state of distrust. What does that mean? It means that in our modern world we are all naturally inclined to distrust most brands and advertisements we see or hear or read. It becomes instinct. We are hit with so many messages that our natural human instinct is to assume "there must be a catch" or "this is too good to be true" or "this company looks great but they have to prove it to me first". All of these thoughts lead to this default state of distrust. What this means for companies is that it is a lot more difficult today to create trust between future customers. This is where likability comes into play.

It turns out the solution to not being able to garner trust is to just simply, be liked. When people like you, even if they don't know your company, they are naturally drawn towards your brand and there is a much greater possibility of them doing business with you. This is great for everyone. Not just for companies but also for consumers. It leads to a much more honest advertising market, a market that doesn't try to push something down your throat but just tries to make you laugh or make you smile. An advertising market that focuses on positive messaging and hopefully swaying all businesses to do things that are good for humanity and the world and for people because... they want to be liked!

Feel free to read more in his book which you can grab here: