Influence… The hardest chain to break.

Over the last year or so there has been a lot of discussion around influence and the way certain sources of information are given a larger weighting of credibility. These sources are frequently referred to as ‘key influencers’ when discussed in a social media context. However Im going to move out of the social media focus and look at the way influence had a significant impact on a decision I made.

In 2005 a movie was released, the name of this movie was V for Vendetta. At the time it was released the reviews, in Australia at least, were mixed with the negative reviews being particularly passionate. In addition to these reviews I had a few friends in whom I had great faith who said that the film was not worth seeing.

Since this time I have heard many, many positive reviews and yet it has taken me until tonight to watch the film.

Why?
Because the influence of these key people in my life had implanted in my mind so deeply idea of the film being bad that I saw no way to move beyond it. Yet after seeing this film I am left with a feeling of regret. For almost 4 years I have avoided seeing a film due to ideals planted by people I no longer know or care about.

So what does this show?
What this shows is that whether a person wants to admit it or not there are always people in their lives who have enough power and impact to influence them. The other point it brings up is that these influencers need to be authentic in their suggestions. If, for example, the people who told me ‘V for Vendetta’ was a bad film were still in my life their credibility would be completely shot.

I suppose the primary take-away from this is that there are influencers out there for every group and every person and these peoples credibility is their life-blood. Some of these people are more easily accessible than others and the questions brands need to ask themselves when trying to engage with these influencers is “is our product/service in alignment with the influencers beliefs?” Reaching these influencers requires tact and strategy and if it is done well will lead to an impact that goes so much further than standard advertising influence can. It can cast a chain that is much harder to break away from… it took me over 3 years.

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5 thoughts on “Influence… The hardest chain to break.

  1. I have the opposite ridiculous reaction. I have a bad reaction to buzz. If everyone I know likes something and it is popular, I will go out of my way to avoid it. It’s this weird oppositional reaction from my youth, I suppose.

    I am trying to get over it because I have ignored series, movies, and music I have loved simply because too many people buzzed it at me. It took me years to watch the LOTR movies, to give Heroes a chance, etc, all because some part of my hind-brain says “anything that is popular will be lame”, even though society has changed so much since I was young that all of my favorite things are now mainstream…music, science fiction, fantasy, superheroes, computers and gadgets, all have become the norm and get buzzed like anything else.

  2. Heartburn Home Remedy –

    I am by no means an expert on influence or how to create or build that influence. This was mearly a reflection on the way that influence has inadvertantly touched me.

    There are plenty of articles and posts out there from people who have many years of experience in the social/blog space and are themselves influencial people.

    A few starting points might be:

    http://www.jyesmith.com
    http://talkingdigital.wordpress.com/
    http://servantofchaos.com
    http://laurelpapworth.com
    http://adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/

  3. This is a fairly normal way of dealing with complexity – we look to those we trust to help filter the signal from the noise.

    In an online context this accelerates. There is much more noise – and we rely even more on those folks that we know and/or trust. It is social judgement that allows us to deal with the complexity of our online existence – and it is not all that dissimilar to what you describe.

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