How did Warhol help ensure his 15 minutes of fame?
...He sent holiday cards to celebrities and received cards in return.
How does Ghirardelli Chocolate entice people to enter the store?
...Employees distribute free samples, turning browsers into potential customers.
How do companies maximize efficiency?
...They award bonuses and workers exert more effort.
These examples all have one rule in common: reciprocity. According to Cialdini, reciprocity is a social norm that states if I give something to you or help you in anyway, then you are obliged to return the favor. It sounds basic, but the Golden Rule creates networking and marketing opportunities that leverage results.
From free gifts to reward point programs, reciprocity is daily used to manipulate our decisions. There is a real estate agent in my neighborhood who distributes holiday and seasonal gifts, ranging from magazines to handwritten cards. Do you think it is a coincidence that the majority of neighborhood houses for sale are his listings?
How can you make reciprocity work for your brand or career? Try leveraging the theory with a simple, handwritten card. It's a small, inexpensive and thoughtful way to positively connect with people. ...And who knows? It can possibly lead to your 15 minutes as well.