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.
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.