I was reading this book Brandwashed about how big brands infiltrate our lives and use their marketing messages to brainwash us whether or not we're aware of it.
They did an interesting experiment on social proof in the book and I wanted to share it here.
Social Proof is extremely misunderstood and involves a lot more than just mentioning a "stripper ex GF" like some guys teaching this stuff boil it down to.
In the experiment they decided to see if they could manufacture "fame."
To do this they took a young intern dressed her up in stylish clothes out of a US weekly, put big dark sunglasses on her, then took her to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills where they had fake papparazzis take pictures of her and her little dog as people walked by.
In essence they had her dress like a celebrity in a place where celebrities are often found and photographed. Then had accomplices act as if she were a celebrity.
They also had her use her real name as opposed to pretending to be some made up celebrity.
The results were amazing! Not only did people stop to ask her for autographs and pictures, several people came up and complimented her on loving her music, tv or acting career none of which she mentioned. One lady even claimed to have seen her in concert last month.
The basic premise of social proof is that if you look cool, you are in a place that is cool, and most importantly OTHER PEOPLE TREAT YOU AS IF YOU ARE COOL then you become cool even if you aren't.
That's the power of social proof.