The Law of Mass Appeal in Business

– with specific reference to Shell Suits

Shell suits - a prime example of how the law of mass appeal can accelerate even the most ridiculous product

Cast your mind back to the mid 90’s and let’s examine a huge high street fashion hit – the shell suit. Shell suits were everywhere ,  everyone from East 17 to Jimmy Saville was flexing a hideously bright, polyester outfit. But what was it that made these garments so popular? They’re not warm, they make you clammy regardless of the weather and they’re in no way flattering. The reason you (and I) bought shell suits was because other people wore them, and there’s a lesson here for business owners. You’ll get more customers if you show that you have some customers.

If it's good enough for Jimmy Saville, it's good enough for you

This is simple social theory and it revolves around ‘pre-vetting’. If your product or service (or shell suit) is good enough for some people to spend their hard earned cash on, then others will follow suit. I recently watched the webcast of the ‘Telegraph Festival of Business’ and this was put really well by Roisin Donelly, the corporate marketing director of Proctor and Gamble. She said that –No one wants to buy you, until someone else wants to buy you, then everyone wants to buy you.

So to further this logic, what can business owners do to get their audience to trust and buy from them? The answer is simple – prove that OTHERS have purchased from them and are satisfied with what they got. Traditionally this process happened via ‘word of mouth’ marketing, where happy customers tell their friends. This is widely recognised as the most powerful marketing available because recommendations come from unbiased, trusted sources. These days we’re in a fortunate position because we can accelerate this process many times over using online resources.  The best way to do this is through online customer testimonials.

If you can encourage your customers to leave positive testimonials online it proves two things – that other people are doing business with you and that they’re happy and willing to recommend you. This is perhaps the best way to develop the reputation and growth of your business.

There are plenty of sites out there which accept customer reviews, but Cuckoo Vine is the only one where the members form a collective of businesses that are proud of their values. This means that they’re not just focussed on WHAT they’re selling, but HOW they’re operating. The members on Cuckoo Vine are proud of their ethics, customer service and approach to business. When this stance is coupled with some positive reviews, you have a very powerful sales tool.

So the law of mass appeal states that people will buy from you if they see that a) other people are buying from you and b) these people are happy with what they experienced. If business owners want their business to have mass appeal, then they should find a way of proving these two vital triggers. If it can work for shell suits, it can work for you.