Thought Leadership Tweet

By Liz Alexander and Craig Badings

Amazon, Walmart, Wiley, and another website summary

Thought leaders advance the marketplace of ideas by proposing actionable, commercially relevant, research-backed, new points of view. They engage in and showcase innovative thinking as opposed to churning out product-focused, brand-centric white papers, or “curated” content that mimics others’ ideas.

But while individual thought leaders are in plentiful supply (at least, those who self-identify as such), many organizations struggle to establish their thought leadership approach. If you recognize the importance of differentiating yourself to clients by offering compelling points of view that are intriguing, innovative, inspiring—and wholly relevant to them—this book is for you.

Authors Dr. Liz Alexander and Craig Badings, who have more than 50 years of consulting experience between them, have devised a series of questions that will provoke you to consider all the elements necessary to execute a successful organizational thought leadership campaign. The authors have done the preliminary thinking for you so that your organization can better leverage your value in your industry.

This book takes a different approach to many who see thought leadership as part of a short-term product marketing, advertising, or PR strategy. It will ensure that you embed thought leadership across the entire organization and centralize it as part of your client-centric culture.

Many organizations are squandering time, money, and effort on initiatives that do not move the needle in terms of establishing a differentiated brand identity, deep trust, and loyal followership. Arm yourself with this small yet immensely powerful book and that will no longer be something you have to worry about.

#THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet is part of the THiNKaha series whose slim, easy-to-read-and-absorb books contain 140 thought-provoking and actionable quotes (tweets/ahas). The book has garnered much recognition, including a 2012 WPP Atticus Award for Merit in the Public Relations and Public Affairs category!

The book is a bunch of small tweet-sized thoughts categorized into a few themes with an introduction to each theme.

Here’s what you can learn from this book according to a reviewer

  • It is possible to build a level of thought leadership through content curation (which the book demonstrates itself). I would add personally that you better add your own two cents into what you are curating and that it’s rare to become a great thought leader simply through curation.
  • You can expand a companies thought leadership by bringing all (or some) of the employees into the process. We talk about this at length in the interview above.
  • One great way to find a niche to become known for as a thought leader is to pick a specific problem in the industry to focus on for a long time first.

The book also has some great questions that are great to guide your thinking about your own thought leadership.

  • What keeps your clients or prospects awake at night? Why? How can you use this to inform your thought leadership point of view?
  • What can you share with your target audience that they don’t already know and would not have thought of themselves?
  • Are you examining your won thinking an how you are processing your information internally to arrive at a thought leadership position?
  • What does your industry or sector treat as sacred (it could be an assumption, process, or goal)? Now imagine the opposite is true?
  • What ways can you restate a client challenge in order to come up with new, insightful thought leadership solutions?
  • Why don’t you take a client challenge to a part of your organization whose opinions have never been sought before, to gain fresh insights?
  • What three trends will impact your clients over the next three years, and can your thought leadership address these?
  • Do you have current content or intellectual property that could be adapted with some extra rigor into a thought leadership point of view?
  • Do you have sector experts whose insights could be backed by robust research and then packaged and leveraged as your thought leadership?

The book manages to distill what could be 162 pages of industry jargon into easy-to-understand, thought-provoking statements. If you’re a self-employed small businessman or heading up a multi-million dollar communications budget, this book will be a useful addition to your reference library.

The world needs innovative thinking and strong leadership like never before, and this book can help the reader to unlock those creative thoughts and strategies so necessary to survive in the rapid-fire industry jungle.

The authors are both at the top of their respective professions. Badings is a director of one of Australia’s leading Public Relations companies and Alexander is a lecturer, author, and consultant to a range of institutions in the USA on the subject.

Author’s email: [email protected]

Publisher : THINKaha; Illustrated edition (October 8, 2012)

Language : English

Paperback : 160 pages

ISBN-10 : 1616990929

ISBN-13 : 978-1616990923

Best Sellers Rank: #3,162,118 in Books

#11,141 in Business Motivation & Self-Improvement (Books)

#11,487 in Motivational Management & Leadership

#25,921 in Leadership & Motivation

Everything You Need to Know About the Decoy Effect

Everything You Need to Know About the Decoy Effect

The decoy effect is a simple yet amusing strategy used in the business to trick the customers into buying a more expensive product. However, the customer thinks that they are being provided with a better value for their money.

This article will learn more about the decoy effect and how it contributes to selling an expensive product in a business. We will understand the concept of the decoy effect through various examples too!

Read on to find out about the trick you can use in your business to have higher sales. 

1.  What is the Decoy Effect?

The decoy effect is also known as the asymmetrical dominance effect. It is considered a cognitive bias that occurs when people choose between two options when a third, more dominant option is introduced.

You can also say the decoy effect occurs when the customer is given a third option they are more likely to choose. This option is more expensive than the first two.

2.  Some Examples to Help You Understand the Decoy Effect

i) National Geographic Popcorn Bucket Experiment

We will tell you about an experiment the National Geographic ran to make it a little more simple for you to understand the decoy effect. This experiment will show how National Geographic influenced the customer to buy the large popcorn bucket rather than a small or medium one.

They introduced two choices in popcorn to the customers, i.e., small for $3 and large for $7. The customers begin to buy the small ones. However, for the second group, National Geographic introduced three choices in popcorn, i.e., small for $3, large for $7, and medium for $6.5. In this group, most people bought the large popcorn because they saw $0.5. The decoy effect was used here to make the large bucket asymmetrically dominant to the medium bucket! It helps the company make more profit because it influences customer decisions, and they buy the expensive option.

the Decoy Effect

ii) Study to See How Decoy Effect Impact Everyday Decisions

Chris Puto, John Payne, and Joel Huber conducted this study on a group of people. They gave a group of people two options to choose from: a three-star restaurant that was 5 minutes away and a five-star restaurant that was 25 minutes away. They wanted to see if people choose convenience or quality.

Then the researchers added another option to the choices: a four-star restaurant located 35 minutes away. Can you guess what the people in the second group chose? Well, most people chose the five-star restaurant that was 35 minutes away. But why? Due to the decoy effect. The third option, i.e., the four-star restaurant, was asymmetrically dominated by the five-star restaurant and made it seem closer and even had a higher rating.

iii) The Economist Subscription

On an old subscription page, there was an example of the decoy effect. There were three options published: $125 for a print subscription, $59 for an electronic subscription, and $125 for print and electronic submission. The first option seemed reasonable; the second option seemed expensive. However, the third option offered both print and electronic subscriptions.

Which one do you think was the most popular choice? No student chose the first option. The most popular choice was the third option. However, when the first option was eliminated, most students chose the second option. The first option is there to cause the decoy effect only. It was never a practical option.

We hope you understand how the decoy effect can make an impact on customer buying behavior.

3.  How can a Business use the Decoy Effect to its advantage?

You can use the decoy effect for your business and take advantage of it by making more profits. How? Here are a few steps that will help you understand how to make profits using the decoy effect and implement the decoy effect strategy in your business plan.

  • Pick the product or service you want to sell. For example, if your business is a restaurant, you need to pick a product that you think will sell best if the decoy effect is applied. Let’s assume you want to sell fries using the decoy effect.
the Decoy Effect
  • Make sure the customers already like the product that you have chosen. This step is crucial because you want to make the maximum sales, and it’s best to apply a decoy effect on a product that is already the customer’s favorite.
  • Now, it’s time to create the decoy effect! It would help if you created a third option to increase attractiveness towards the product you want to sell most. Make sure you have at least three options. Also, note that more than three options might create decision paralysis.
  • Now you have to come towards the pricing. You need to price your product that aims to have the decoy effect close to your essential product, i.e., the product you want to sell the most. You need to make sure that you price the decoy slightly less but close to your essential product. For example, if you sell fries, you can sell small at $3, medium at $5.5, and large at $6.5. This will create more value for the large fries because it provides more weight than the medium fries.

Summary of the Article

In this article, we aimed to introduce the decoy effect and how you can use it in your business to make higher profits. We gave two different examples to create a better understanding of the decoy effect.

The decoy effect is a scientifically proven method that can be used in any business. You should give it a shot and see if it works for you!

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The Thought Leaders Practice

The Thought Leaders Practice

By Matt Church, Scott Stein and Peter Cook

Authors said:

The Thought Leaders Practice is a practical blueprint (in a green book) for positioning yourself as the leading information expert in your field. The book lays out the path—from white belt to black belt—and details the actions you should take at each step along the way. This is not a collection of grand concepts and ethereal ideas; it’s a functional roadmap to financial success, selling your expertise to the world.

The authors—Thought Leaders Global founder Matt Church and Thought Leaders Global partners Peter Cook and Scott Stein—are all active million dollar experts. Each of the invoices over a million dollars a year selling their expertise (in leadership, implementation, and communication respectively).

Book Preface:

For more than 15 years we have been teaching people how to capture, package and deliver their ideas in a way that is commercially smart. Now, in this book, we will share with you the tried and tested methodologies that have helped thousands of information experts make a difference in the lives of those people and businesses they interact with and get paid accordingly. This book was first published by Harper Collins as Sell Your Thoughts in 2011. We’ve learned a lot since then, and this edition comes with the benefit of those lessons, along with a new title.

With the success of the Thought Leaders Business School program, we are super clear that we teach experts how to bill $500,000– $1,500,000 working 50-200 days a year with one or maybe two staff. We are also super clear that this labour of love needs to be run lightly with a scoreboard much like any game. We know that clever people have a tendency to sabotage their commercial success in all kinds of clever ways. This process and the focus of this book is to help you circumvent these self-sabotaging behaviours (most of them unconscious) and put you well on your way to success as a thought leader in practice.

In essence, what we will show you is how to generate a highly leveraged income as a subject-matter expert. We want to show you an alternative model to the two traditional choices of getting a job or run a business. Although the tax-collecting authorities will consider you

a business, and while you need to accept this as a mechanical fact, we are going to suggest that you operate with the mindset of a specialist or practitioner. We are inviting you to consider running your own thought leadership practice based on your expertise—to make a living by selling your thoughts, to make it a game that gives you the chance to do work you love, with people you like the way you want.

Author’s three wishes according to the book:

We have three wishes for this book (and if you are going to have wishes, three is the right number to have). One is for the world, one is for you, and one is a selfish wish for us.

Our wish for the world is that you get to make the contribution that you were born to make. That you get to make a difference to thousands or even millions of people through your practice. That your books, your speeches, your programs, your coaching and your ideas touch lives all over the planet. That by selling your thoughts you leave the world better than you found it.

Our wish for you is that you live your dream as you are making that difference. That you get very well paid to do work you love, with people you like, the way you want. However, that looks for you. That you get to truly create your life.

Our final wish is for us. Our vision is to be part of a meme pool of a thousand thought leaders. We imagine an event where a thousand well-resourced, clever people who have been through this journey are coming together to explore how to work together for the betterment of all. Think of all the problems that we would solve, the projects we would create and the contributions we would make! We would love you to be part of that.

In The Thought Leaders Practice, they walk you through the process of:

  • Refining and packaging your IP to make it commercially smart.
  • Identifying and targeting the market which values your knowledge most highly.
  • Utilising multiple delivery modes to maximise the value of your offering.

Amazon summary:

Helping clever people be commercially smart

An expert is someone who knows something. A thought leader is someone who is known for knowing something. If you can leverage your personal brand as an expert, you can build a practice that helps you make the difference you were born to make.

This book shows you how to take what you know and develop it into an advice-based professional consulting practice. Inside, the authors unpack a step-by-step process that will help you build a ‘business’ around the brand you.

It is the perfect book for people who are entrepreneurial but don’t want to manage a team of staff or launch a business with huge capital outlays.

This book, written by three ‘black belt’ thought leaders, will enable you to:

– Earn $500,000 to $1,500,000 a year working 50-200 days with 1 or 2 support staff.

– Move from being a low-paid coach, speaker, trainer, author, facilitator or consultant to one who is richly rewarded for the value they bring to others.

– Shift from an employee to thought leader.

– Learn from a range of thought leaders who have successfully implemented this methodology.

This best selling book is now in its second edition. It details the methodology that has been used to teach thousands of experts how to create a successful thought leaders practice.

Some of the key takeaways for reading this book according to a reviewer were:

  • Not understanding the difference between a Practice and a Small Business. I made this mistake. You are selling your time not a product or service.
  • A successful practice is defined as annual income of $720,000 and to achieve that you have to be a Thought Leader with unique intellectual property and not a commodity.
  • Building a successful practice requires starting a series of clusters using each of six delivery modes: Speaking, Authoring, Training, Mentoring, Facilitating and Coaching.

The model used in this book is:

Thought Leaders Practice

Here’s a quick explanation of each section:

  • Model: This is a visual representation of the idea. It could be a photo, diagram, or some other kind of graphic.
  • Metaphor: This is the verbal metaphor that helps people understand the idea by comparing it to something else.
  • Statement: This is a short description of the idea.
  • Explanation: The long description of the idea.
  • Study/Statistics: The evidence you have to support the idea.
  • Story: A use case, personal story, or some other narrative that illustrates why the idea is important to others.

Product details


Publisher: Thought Leaders (August 15, 2016)

Publication date: August 15, 2016

Language: English

Print length: 314 pages

Best Sellers Rank: #355,074 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)

#121 in Business Consulting (Kindle Store)

#311 in Business Consulting (Books)

#1,395 in Business Leadership

Customer Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars    51 ratings

AMAZON CATEGORY: Kindle Store › Kindle eBooks › Business & Money

How to improve your brand with Reverse Marketing

How to improve your brand with Reverse Marketing

What is reverse marketing? The importance of marketing in business can be written in a few pages. The essence of marketing is to bring customers to your company. That is why organizations find means of advertising their products and services to people: traditional or modern advertisements.

Marketing does not only build brand awareness, but it also brings customers. This improves the company’s profit after spending on adverts. When marketing is done in the wrong way, the company can run into a loss.

There are lots of marketing strategies in the business world today. How do you make sales when customers are buying less and saving more? This will affect the company’s sales and profit. It is therefore essential that you know what to do in times like this.

reverse marketing

Reverse marketing is one of the marketing strategies you can employ in times like this. In this article, you will learn about the meaning of reverse marketing and why it is essential.

What is Reverse Marketing

Reverse marketing is a marketing strategy that allows customers to seek out a company or a product on their own. Can this be possible? Yes, it is possible. Reverse marketing makes the customers seek out a company or product by making them change their buying habits.

Every company needs to make sales and profit to develop. What happens if the sales are reducing? In times when there is an economic meltdown around the world. Times when people need to save up and buy less. How will a company survive by the usual traditional way of advertising?

Reverse marketing can be done in several ways – but the most effective way is to give vital information to customers without asking them to buy anything. Building Value is the core part of reverse marketing.

Instead of advertising your products and services to them, present a solution to the familiar problem they face. This will get your customers accustomed to you and your company. It builds interest and curiosity in them to come and get whatever you are selling.

A widely used example is the Patagonia jacket “Don’t Buy This” campaign. Before the economic meltdown in recent years before 2008, Patagonia needed to make more sales. They understood that both economic and environmental factors mattered to the customers. They launched this campaign telling their customers to think twice before making any purchase. Patagonia didn’t advertise that their jacket was eco-friendly; they made people see that the company itself cares about the environment. The company’s sales rose between 2008 – 2011.

reverse marketing

Another company that benefited from reverse marketing is the Dove campaign for natural beauty. Their competitors were focused on their customers’ flaws to convince them to buy their products for improvement. Dove focused on the natural beauty of its customers and celebrated average women’s beauty – Instead of advertising their products. Because of this campaign, Dove was able to rake about $1 billion from sales.

In addition to that, another company that successfully used reverse marketing is Aviva. Aviva is an insurance company. Their campaign was to tell people that they are already living a happy life. Aviva will only make it better and beautiful. This campaign was convincing enough to make customers choose Aviva over any other insurance company.

Before exploring reverse marketing, there are some basic principles you must understand:

  • What your customers find important
  • Why should they come to you – give them a reason
  • Offer value instead of pushing for sales.

Difference between reverse marketing and anti-advertising

You need to understand what you are implementing before you implement reverse marketing – so that you don’t mix things up. Reverse marketing is different from anti-advertising. In reverse marketing, you make customers come to your company by giving them value. Anti-advertising, on the other hand, shows the harms and defects in the product. This is commonly used in the advertisement of Cigarettes. It is boldly written on the packets of the cigarettes that “smokers are liable to die young.” In video advertisements worldwide by cigarette-producing companies, they educate people on the harmful effect of smoking. The goal is to decrease cigarette consumption by stating the adverse effect.

Difference between reverse marketing and reverse engineering

We already know what reverse marketing is; what is reverse engineering? Reverse engineering is the process of finding out the configuration, composition, and functions of a product. You analyze the configuration, structure, and operation of a system to see how it works. Having known this, it is possible to replicate and also create a better version of the system. This action has been termed illegal and controversial. The practice is often employed by companies who want to find the secret of their competitors without having to invest in research.

How does reverse marketing works?

Before implementing reverse marketing, the first thing to do is to do an honest review of your company’s current impression. You must know what type of customers you want and what attracts those customers. This helps craft out vital information needed by your customers.

As said earlier, there are ways to go about reverse marketing. The second thing to do is to get your customers’ attention. You can achieve this by creating content that is valuable to them. One of the best ways to go about this is to specially create content for your customers. You must be able to give them a solution to the problem they are facing. Creating valuable content will bring them coming.

You can effectively do this by market segmentation. Our article on market segmentation might be able to help you. Market segmentation allows you to target your audience well and give them essential information that they need. You don’t have to advertise your company, give them vital information at no cost.

After implementation, track changes to see what the customer’s needs are. Customer’s tastes change with time. What works for them this time might not work for them in the future. Consistently monitor the market to see what their expectations are, what drives them etc. Remember, you are not advertising product – you are advertising value.

reverse marketing

Advantages of Reverse Marketing

  1. Strengthen your brand: Reverse marketing helps to strengthen your brand. Since you don’t advertise products, the values you give to people help to strengthen your business. More people will find your content, and they will come. Reverse marketing helps people to find the essence in your brand rather than the product. They will take the product as a secondary and the value you offer as primary. The more critical the values you give, the more your customers share them with their friends and families. Your brand expands like that. You have potential customers. Not only increasing your reach, but it also portrays you as an expert in the field. Your brand becomes a reference point in the niche. You become reliable as someone who knows what he is doing.
  2. Improve customer relations: Customer relates with content that is valuable to them. Since you advertise value, not product, customers find it easy to relate. If they get helpful hints from your content, they will come back and even refer you. You create a closer relationship with customers when you identify what they want and give them helpful content.
  3. Friendly outlook: Reverse marketing offers a friendly approach to customers. This is slightly related to point 2. It offers friendly advice and doesn’t encourage customers to be absent consumers only (I.e., customers who only buy products for buying sake). It states reasons why the company cares more about you than the products they are selling.
  4. Increase sales and productivity: Reverse marketing brings more customers to you. It increases your sales and productivity level. Lots of profit are generated in the process. These profits can be invested back into the brand for enlargement.
  5. Customer gain and retention: You have new and potential customers when your brand expands. Reverse marketing doesn’t only give you new customers; it makes them stay. To gain more customers is complex than customer retention.

Things to do in reverse marketing

Evaluate your business: Do an honest review of your internal and external resources. How do your customers perceive your products? Do your employees believe in your brand? This will help you to know what is working and what can be improved on.

Know your target audience: It will be difficult to serve them well if you don’t know your target audience very well. People in different age brackets are faced with different challenges. It is essential to approach each age bracket in the manner of what affects them.

Build contents: The idea of reverse marketing is to be less pushy. Contents drive customers. Invest in your content. You might have to hire content writers.

Be in touch: When customers visit your website or blog, you can use that means to collect their data (address, phone numbers, and emails). You can occasionally send them emails about product promotion going on in your brand.


Reverse marketing has been tried by many companies in the world today and has yielded success. Some examples have been listed above. Other examples include Nike and Walmart. Who can engage in reverse marketing? Any company is aspiring to make sales. Do you have any questions about reverse marketing? Or it would help if you had private teaching on it. Join The Black Sheep Community today!

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How Selective Distortion and Perception Marketing Works

How Selective Distortion and Perception Marketing Works

If you want to understand the concept of selective distortion while keeping in mind perception marketing, this is the place for you! We will help you know particular distortions and help you use selective distortion to your advantage in your business!

What is Perception Marketing?

perception marketing

It is challenging for a consumer to decide what they have to buy. However, their buying perception is greatly affected by the situation that they are in. Perception is when a customer tends to select, organize and interpret data, including the environmental stimuli that have been introduced to them by brands. The customers then use the sorted information to paint a more meaningful picture of the world around them.

Perception marketing is used as a pivotal idea to motivate consumers to buy a product. Advertising is a massive form of environmental stimuli. You as a consumer are exposed to about 3000 to 5000 advertisements on average in a day. You must be thinking, how is that even possible? Well, taste, smell, sounds, conversations, pictures, and everything else around you play a part in this. If you are walking down the street, apart from the billboards and posters, many other things may grab your attention. For example, it could be the aroma from a coffee shop or bookstand selling the magazines you search for. This is how the situation you are in affects your decision to buy something. This is what leads to selective distortion!

What is Selective Distortion?

perception marketing

Selective distortion is the customer’s tendency to interpret information to suit or fit their preconceptions. Consumers use particular distortion to perceive information to become consistent with the beliefs of the prior product or even a brand.

In other words, when a consumer fits incoming stimuli to their mindset through their own set of rules, it means that they are using selective distortion to make their decision about buying a product. Particular distortion can act as a way to interpret information to support what they want to believe, or they already feel it.

Test to Prove Selective Distortion Exists

Pepsi conducted a test in 1984, which proved that consumers tend to support information they already believe in. There were two groups selected. One group of people were given two samples each; Coke and Pepsi. They had to taste and choose the drink they liked more. These people knew what they were having. It was seen that when people knew what they were having, they always chose the brand that they already had a good person about. Hence, the experiment showed that people used selective distortion to make their decision.

Another group was chosen, but it was a blind tasting test to see if the selective distortion was used here. People were given two cups that contained both coke and Pepsi but were not labelled. This test showed that people had different opinions this time. They ended up choosing the product they usually do not buy. This indicates that when people do not know what they are choosing between, selective distortion is minimized. They make a decision based on their present experience rather than their perception of their experience.

How Does Selective Distortion Play a Role in Customer Buying Decision?

When customers tend to have different opinions regarding unbranded or branded versions of identical products, they have beliefs about the effect they usually select or do not select. The perception about a brand or product can be based on a customer’s experience, loyalty towards a specific brand, or simply because of a brand’s marketing activity. This is what leads to selective distortion in the future. Consumers may find themselves being attracted to a specific product if they find its marketing attractive.

How can Marketers Make Use of Selective Distortion?

Consumers tend to build attitudes and beliefs that affect their buying behaviour in their daily lives. Consumer beliefs are their descriptive thoughts regarding a matter, and these explanatory thoughts tend to affect their attitudes in their daily lives. Attitudes can also come from feelings, evaluations, and attraction towards an idea. These beliefs and attitudes cause consumers to use selective distortion to choose when buying a product.

What marketers can do is make use of the selective distortion that consumers have. It can become more accessible for the marketers to choose their target market and select who they want to target. For example, if you run a company that sells clothes and you make casual but comfortable clothes. You can choose to target people who give a lot of importance to comfort. You can advertise your product as ‘comfortable’ and ‘soft.’ Selective distortion can become your tool, and you will be able to sell your products if you can crack what goes on the customer’s mind!


In this article, we learned what customer perception is and how it leads to customers making their buying decisions built upon their beliefs and attitudes. Their ideas lead them to do selective distortion and make their choices accordingly. Further, we learned about how vital the distortion is in a consumer’s mind by looking at an experiment conducted by Pepsi.

Lastly, this article discussed the importance of selective distortion in customer buying behaviour and what a marketer can do to make sure that particular distortion is used in favour of a business.

We hope that this article helped you develop a concept of selective distortion, and you can use it to your advantage in your business!

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