The science of persuasion

August 28, 2010

Robert Cialdini‘s work is important to understand.

His 6 Weapons of Influence:

  1. reciprocity, (giving a United Way pin)
  2. scarcity, (limited quantities available)
  3. authority, (basketball shoes)
  4. commitment,
  5. liking  (Tupperware example) and
  6. consensus (social proof).

Understanding these techniques goes a long way to understanding franchising.

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Can an empire be saved by shaming investors like Ariel Buk?

August 15, 2010

There are costs involved in maintaining investor confidence and commercial relationships. Some people need to learn to “take one for the team”.Ariel Buk and Sonia Karabin may need to understand that they should cool down, be quiet and go away about losing a $85,000 deposit on a non-existent Ontario, Canada franchise. They and, by extension, the many hundreds of other “failed franchisees” need to be taught their role in this confidence game by the industry stakeholders: take one for the team or risk being shamed.

1. James Daw presents the story in yesterday’s Toronto Star article,  Ice cream dream becomes nightmare about Mr Buk’s experience with Piazza Gelateria and Café. This is shrewd. For example, Mr. Daw opines:

They [husband and wife] should have looked more closely at the business opportunity, and their decision to use mainly borrowed funds after Buk had lost his job.

They should have considered the minimum $300,000 cost of a lawyer to sue for a refund if things went wrong, and the chances of recovering anything from a relatively young numbered company.

2. Robert Cialdini lists authority as one of Six Weapons of Influence. My experience is that attorneys are given a  lot of authority by new Canadians. Many of us see past their pretensions, BS and fear. [Examples of authority.]

Ben Hanuka of Davis Moldaver LLP is quoted as saying:

“Very few mom-and-pop franchisees ever go to that length (of hiring experts to research a franchise opportunity),” says Hanuka. “It sounds too complicated to them.”

All it well with the world the reader is assured. Go back to sleep because these people get what they deserved. The blame lies with:

  1. the anonymous, individual “other” (mildly retarded immigrant scapegoat) deserved what he got (“your success follows from your blind obedience to authority” dogma)  and not that
  2. stakeholders align their self-interest in maintaining a facade of legitimacy: not a fake, or a Potemkin village scheme which has preyed upon identifiable groups, in plain sight,  since at least 1971.

Social Psychology-based Hypothesis: Elite stakeholders deflect systemic wrongdoing by using the largely-internal mechanisms of On Cooling the Mark Out by Erving Goffman (shame-humiliation effect) while using the public’s widespread fallacy of the Belief in a Just World, BJW (Melvin Lerner, retired University of Waterloo, Canada) in the country’s largest daily newspaper.

Every dying empire resorts to displays of public humiliation.

Why were people crucified in Jesus’ time?
Crucifixion was a Roman custom used on the worst malefactors and rebellious slaves. Judea was a tributary to Rome at that time. It is recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus that after the last rebellion of the Jews and the capture and razing of Jerusalem, the countryside was practically denuded of trees the Romans crucified so many. WikiAnswer

Detail: Crucifixion was often performed to terrorize onlookers into submission. Victims were left on display after death as warnings. Crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful (hence the term excruciating, literally “out of crucifying”), gruesome (hence dissuading against the crimes punishable by it), humiliating, and public, using whatever means were most expedient for that goal. Crucifixion methods varied considerably with location and time period…

While a crucifixion was an execution, it was also a humiliation, by making the condemned as vulnerable as possible. Although artists have depicted the figure on a cross with a loin cloth or a covering of the genitals, writings by Seneca the Younger suggest that victims were crucified completely nude. When the criminal had to urinate or defecate, they had to do so in the open, in view of passers-by, resulting in discomfort and the attraction of insects. Despite its frequent use by the Romans, the horrors of crucifixion did not escape mention by some of their eminent orators. Cicero for example, in a speech that appears to have been an early bid for its abolition,  described crucifixion as “a most cruel and disgusting punishment”, and suggested that “the very mention of the cross should be far removed not only from a Roman citizen’s body, but from his mind, his eyes, his ears.” Wikipedia

Humiliation is the most unpredictable, violent and destructive human emotion. It can result in many types of loss (see Bob “Bhupinder” Baber, WikiFranchise.org)


Evil in franchising? Look to the system not the individual

August 4, 2010

Social psychologist legend Philip Zimbardo makes an excellent point in this TED video.

He asks the question: Does evil reside primarily in…

  1. the apple (the individual),
  2. the whole barrel of apples (everything) or
  3. the barrel-makers (power brokers, the system, situation)?

I have concluded abuse within mom-and-pop franchising has evolved and resides mostly with the power elite: the franchise bar, the Fixers.

This is why modern franchising is Unsafe at any Brand.


Belief in a Just World, BJW: the fundamental franchising fallacy

July 22, 2010

Want to know the single greatest delusion that creates a misunderstanding of modern franchising?

Much greater than even the confirmation bias?

The Just-world fallacy:

…the tendency for people to believe that the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get.

Winning franchisees attribute their “win” to their goodness, hard work and skill:

If you have this belief, and something good happens to you, you may conclude that the world is just because you are a good person and so good things happen to you.

All franchisees blame the victim franchisee:

In the same way, when you see something bad happen to someone else, you may conclude that they did something to bring on this bad event. Otherwise, it would not have occurred since the world is a just place.

You see it at play every day.

Wikipedia discussion.


Franchising and Google: More is always better, am I right?

July 20, 2010

Franchise sales claims are frequently inflated.So I was wondering:

What franchisee-related websites, weblogs, “communities” get the most Google search Results?

Here is what I found on July 19, 2010.

The Top 10

Rank Franchise Entity Search Term in ” ”
Results
1 IFA franchise.org 217,000
2 AAHOA aahoa.com 120,000
3 WikiFranchise wikifranchise.org 96,500
4 Franchise Chat franchise-chat.com 93,900
5 CFA cfa.ca 72,300
6 Blue MauMau bluemaumau.org 37,100
7 IAFD franchise-info.ca 34,700
8 FranchiseFool lesstewart.wordpress.com 27,900
9 Misleading Advertising Law bizop.ca/blog2 13,200
10 AAFD aafd.org 8,240

Happy now Les?

Sure: for what it’s worth…

  1. WikiFranchise.org is #3 (alive for less than 1.5 years) and
  2. FranchiseFool.com is #8 (3.7%) and
  3. together 16.5% (2nd only to the evil International Franchise Association).

Unfortunately, the industry continues to promulgate its long-ago discredited success claims (ie. BP Makes Discredited 90 Percent Claim).

These are the sites that I find interesting. Note that 59% of the sites are non-USA. The greatest translation site on WikidFranchise is Japan.


When high risk is disguised, franchise investors behave more recklessly because they are human beings

June 18, 2010

Perceived risk.

Big Franchising tries to minimize the public’s perceived risk of buying all franchises.

They:

  1. anchor their false legitimacy in “badges of authority” (FTC, banks, trade associations that claim to have a credible Code of Ethics or Ombuds program, justice system, toothless regulation and disclosure laws, government guaranteed loan programs, etc.),
  2. blame the fraud victims for their situation (ad hominem attacks),
  3. goes after military pensions by discounting worthless franchises (VetFran) and
  4. trot out the most blatant franchisee shills imaginable to hype foreign predatory systems.

Potential franchisees respond by buying higher risky offerings to satisfy their pre-existing tolerance for risks (see Target Risk: free online book by Gerald J. S. Wilde)

This is why franchising remains much, much riskier than independent businesses.

And getting riskier.

And without effective safeguards, franchising is Unsafe at any Brand.


Whereas convictions depend on speed-ups, justice requires delay.

June 5, 2010

Who can possibly understand a technology that moves too quickly?

This diagram shows the processes in a 4 stroke engine.

By slowing it down, we can understand it. (1. intake, 2. compression, 3. power and 4. exhaust)

This is precisely what I have tried to do with franchising’s technology at WikiFranchise.org.

The only method for perceiving process and pattern is by inventory of effects obtained by the comparison and contrast of developing situations.

Marshall McLuhan 1911-1980


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