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An Idea A Day by David Thompson

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MARKETING

BRING A FRIEND

Jim Blythe

FRIEND-GET-FRIEND promotions are very common, but persuading people to sell to their friends can be problematic. People often feel embarrassed to do this, and some research conducted in the 1950s by two American academics (Leon Festinger and James M. Carlsmith) brought out an interesting phenomenon: people who are offered a big reward for persuading a friend to do something are LESS likely to succeed at it than are people who are offered a small reward. This is because people offered a small reward will persuade because they are themselves persuaded—people offered a large reward do so because of the reward. ...

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